Ewing Township family battles COVID-19; father recovers after 43 days in hospital

EWING TOWNSHIP, New Jersey (WPVI) -- Coronavirus has been a roller coaster for a family from Ewing Township, Mercer County. Both heartbreak of loss and the euphoria of recovery.

After spending almost a month on a ventilator after contracting COVID-19, Miguel Ortiz got to go home.

It was a celebration on Monday outside Capital Health Medical Center in Pennington.

Family and friends were cheering as Miguel was released after a 43-day stint at the hospital. He is now cleared of the virus and onto a rehab center in Trenton to finish his recovery.

"This is first time we've seen him in 43 days," said Miguel's wife, Carmen. "I've shed enough tears and now I'm just happy," she added.

The victory is a big one for this tight-knit family.

"The virus came into the home," Ortiz explained. "I was sick for 19 days, my boys got it, but they're stronger, younger and they went through it like this. He caught it from me and when it hit him; he has diabetes, he has other health issues, so it really knocked him down," she said.

Miguel's bother, Al, in North Jersey also caught the virus. He's now recovered and back to work as a corrections director.

Unfortunately, he says two of their uncles did not survive.

"We're thankful that my brother was able to beat this thing and he's recovering, he's on the mend," said Al Ortiz.

Miguel's eldest son says the hardest part was not being able to see his dad in person for the duration, but taking full advantage of video chats when possible.

The family says it's their faith that continues to get them through the ordeal. They hope others find comfort in knowing this virus can be beat.

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