'Very emotional': Greenwich man released from hospital following 5-month stay for COVID-19
A Greenwich man who spent five long months in the hospital with COVID-19 was finally released.
George Kelakos, 64, spent 146 days at Greenwich Hospital fighting the disease. This week, he finally left the hospital.
Staff say it's believed he had the longest stay for any COVID-19 patient and call him a "miracle patient."
"I mean, it's such a journey he's been on. It's such a triumph," says Erica Collura, a nurse.
George Kelakos was admitted to the hospital with trouble breathing back on Nov. 11 of last year.
His wife, Anchalee Kelakos, says he was perfectly healthy before then.
"He was intubated and he was in a coma until the end of January," she says. "I tried to be hopeful but it was a rollercoaster. I was called to the hospital several times to say goodbye to him."
But George Kelakos held on again and again, fighting in a way that inspired staff. Even when he was taken off the ventilator, he still had a long way to go.
George Kelakos couldn’t talk at first and was basically immobile. Little by little, he got better.
"Every nurse knew him in the hospital, every respiratory therapist, every physical therapist, dietician," says Collura.
"Whenever we lost faith, we felt discouraged, we looked at his story, and it was definitely encouraging, and it helped us keep going and keep fighting this virus," says respiratory therapist Mary Lazo.
Staff from all over the hospital lined the halls and gathered out front to say goodbye. Anchalee Kelakos even brought their dog, Sumo, to the celebration.
"It was... very emotional. Just the outpouring of love and support, it was amazing," she says. "The physicians, the nurses, the staff, everyone at Greenwich Hospital saved him. They did a wonderful job, and we’re very grateful.”
Anchalee Kelakos says he's doing well and in good spirits. He's at rehab facility in Stamford continuing to recover and relearning to walk.