N.J. corrections officer returns home 111 days after COVID-19 diagnosis

A South Jersey corrections officer is finally going home more than 100 days after being hospitalized due to COVID-19.

Chris Stanek had nothing but appreciation for the dozens of his brothers and sisters in blue who came out to see him being released from rehab 111 days after being admitted to the hospital.

"Thanks, everyone for coming out. I really appreciate it. Makes me feel good," Stanek said.

And Chris' wife, Jean, says having him home nearly four months later is a big relief.

"I just thank the Lord. My faith has not withered. I just keep praying and I know my husband is going to make it and here he is being discharged finally and on his way home," she said.

But Chris and Jean both realize his struggles are far from over. Chris endured severe complications from his bout with COVID-19, and he is still contending with paralysis in his left foot and right shoulder.

In fact, at this point, it seems unlikely that the 46-year-old will ever return to his job as a New Jersey corrections officer.

Jean hopes Chris' story serves as a cautionary tale to anyone who still underestimates the potential danger of the coronavirus.

"It's very real, and COVID is no joke, and it's here to kill. Take all the precautions necessary. Do not think it can not happen to you or one of your family members," she says.

Meanwhile, the Staneks say they are simply overwhelmed by the support they have received from the law enforcement community.

"I know he is grateful to be alive. I am definitely grateful he is alive, and it's a new beginning," said Jean.
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