EAST GOSHEN TWP., Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- It was an emotional homecoming for a Chester County, Pennsylvania man after nearly half a year battling COVID-19.
Kevin Culbertson, 60, of East Goshen, was greeted with a parade that included police cars and a sea of loved ones on Wednesday afternoon.
"It's been a long six and a half months of this and I'm thankful. It's going to be another long six," Culbertson said.
He knows his wife and two children will continue to be by his side.
Culbertson's longtime employer ACME Markets had the exact truck he had driven for years outside his home. Dozens of neighbors and friends also made sure to take time off from their schedules to welcome him home.
"He's just one of those guys, he can't do enough for you," said his brother-in-law Mike O'Neill.
"His wife is amazing. His wife and kids have been through so much," said Culbertson's sister Ellen Lemaitra. "We've been blessed. We've been given a gift and a miracle."
Several times throughout Culbertson's hospitalization the family was warned he might not make it.
In December, Culbertson was diagnosed with COVID-19 and admitted into Chester County Hospital. Right before the new year, he was placed on a ventilator. Culbertson was on life support for 121 days and underwent 15 surgeries. He spent a good part of his recovery time at Bryn Mawr Rehabilitation Center.
His home remained a time warp while he was away. The Culbertson family kept up their Christmas tree and never touched the presents under the tree during the COVID-19 fight.
The family went through even more challenging times: Culbertson's son got into a car accident, the family dog passed away and a relative died after a battle with cancer.
Culbertson was welcomed home on the same day Italian Saint Padre Pio was canonized. Lawn signs throughout the Marydell section of West Chester paid tribute to the family's strong Catholic faith and devotion.