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Pa. man returns home after 29 days on ventilator, surviving COVID-19

A Chester man is celebrating his renewed health following a long battle with COVID-19. 

Emmanuel Gilbert has immense gratitude for the doctors and nurses at Taylor Hospital in Ridley Park, Pa.

Gilbert spent 29 days on a ventilator after he became ill with the novel coronavirus strain that has claimed the life of more than 90,000 Americans


FOX 29's Chris O'Connell spoke with Gilbert after he left the hospital in a wheelchair but with profound happiness and better health. 

“I don’t remember a lot because I was asleep for 31 days," explained the 51-year-old business owner. 

Emmanuel Gilbert COVID-19

Gilbert, who is from Chester, doesn't know how he got COVID-19, but he does know that he almost died. 

"Do you know how you get a cold and lose your taste buds? This wasn’t that regular. It felt like metal like metal was in my mouth," he recounted. 

Finally after a month-long battle, Gilbert was finally strong enough to come home to his family and girlfriend.

"It was the greatest moment. We were all very emotional," his girlfriend Jennifer Woodhouse said. "We hadn’t seen him in close to two months so we couldn’t wait to see him and touch him”


With a team of nearly 100 doctors and nurses behind him, Gilbert couldn’s say goodbye just yet.

FOX 29 reunited Gilbert and his whole family with some of his ICU nurses at taylor -- the ones  who cared for him when his family were not allowed inside.

"This is what I was put on this earth to do. I’ve been a nurse for 31 years and this is where I’m supposed to be," an emotional Heather Chambers said. "I’m supposed to be here helping patients and families."

"We need this positivity to get us through each day, so this event that we held today was amazing," added Heather Kostyk, a clinical nurse director. 

Weeks of recovery remain ahead for Gilbert, but he says he's fine with that and he's just happy to be home.

“I’m blessed to be here and it feels so good to be around my family," Gilbert said with a smile.


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