LEVITTOWN, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- The Levittown man who spent weeks in an Ireland ICU and nearly died from sepsis is finally back home.
Dozens of well-wishers came to greet 21-year-old Matthew Small and welcome him back after three months away.
21-year-old Bucks County, Pennsylvania man fighting for life in Ireland
For the first time, Action News spoke to him about the harrowing ordeal and near-death experience.
"Besides the fact that I lost a lot of weight due to the fact I was bedridden, I feel pretty close to normal," he said. "It's nice to be back in a place where I know where everything is, I know my routine."
It's been a long road for Small, which began with a family Christmas trip to Ireland in December of 2022.
Within days Small and other family members began feeling ill, but they recovered. His fight was much harder.
The 10-day trip ended up being three months with weeks spent in an Irish hospital.
At one point, the family said a doctor in Ireland said Small was classified as, "the sickest person in all of Ireland."
"There was no gradual sort of, 'No, I don't feel good, now I feel really bad,'" Small recalled. "It was 'I have the sniffles' to 'You have to be put on a ventilator because you can't breathe on your own.' It was all in the space of 24-48 hours."
He was diagnosed with strep, Influenza A, and pneumonia. Those three infections combined led to sepsis, which then led to multi-organ failure.
Doctors still don't know what caused this response, but say his recovery is nothing short of a miracle.
Along the way, family and friends raised thousands of dollars through a GoFundMe and sent well wishes of support.
They were also right by his side when he returned home on Thursday.
"The amount of people that reached out, total strangers, it revives your faith in humanity. We got messages from all over the world. There were people praying from all over the world," said Small's mother, Sandra Small.
Now, it's all about getting back to his normal life. His first stop after returning home was to the local Wawa. He also says he looks forward to riding his motorcycle again.
He's returned to Pennsylvania with a totally new outlook on life.
"The fact that I can walk around, and can drive, and sit here to talk, and a couple of weeks ago I couldn't get out of bed without assistance is kind of, it's a good feeling," he said.