Coronavirus survivor hugs daughters after months-long hospital stay

A New York man shared an emotional embrace with his young daughters on Tuesday after spending the last 80-something days fighting coronavirus. Alfredo Hercules, 39, first tested positive on January 2, according to Catholic Health’s Mercy Hospital, where he was treated for the illness.

The emotional moment on Tuesday was celebrated by staff who helped care for him during his stay.
(Catholic Health’s Mercy Hospital)

At first, his symptoms were flu-like, but over the week progressed enough for his wife to send him to the hospital. In addition to coronavirus, he was also diagnosed with COVID-19 pneumonia. Throughout the duration of his stay he received treatment from the critical care unit, inpatient rehab, acute care, respiratory, emergency and others, according to the hospital.

Alfredo Hercules is pictured with various staff who helped care for him during his months-long stay.

Alfredo Hercules is pictured with various staff who helped care for him during his months-long stay.
(Catholic Health’s Mercy Hospital)

“Alfredo was in bad shape when he came to us,” Dr. Perry Stein, director of physical medicine and rehabilitation, said in a hospital press release. “When you have COVID-19 and it affects your breathing it can be torture but Alfredo pushed himself every single day. He showed incredible perseverance and resilience and I give him full credit for pushing himself to this point.”

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While it’s not clear where Hercules contracted the virus, he was eventually deemed healthy enough for discharge. On Tuesday, after being released, he got to hug his daughters again for the first time since testing positive, and the moment was celebrated by many staff who helped care for him.

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Though on his way to recovery, Hercules will still use an oxygen tank while at home.