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No average Joe; 71-year old New Britain grandfather battles back from the COVID-19

“It took every single person on this team to make this happen.”

NEW BRITAIN, Conn — It was a marathon battle but Joe Pandolfe is back home. 

The 71-year old small business owner and, husband, father, and grandfather of seven spent 42 days in the hospital fighting the effects of Covid-19. “There was a time when I thought I wouldn’t see this day,” Pandolfe said as he emerged from the halls of the Hospital for Special Care in New Britain to a rousing round of cheers and applause. 

Pandolfe was put on a ventilator for 17 days to keep him alive and, Tuesday, after weeks of steady progress, doctors deemed he was ready for discharge. “This is probably one of the happiest days of my life,” Pandolfe said, “there are just so many well wishers and the prayers — and support really matters.”

Among the friends and family standing outside the hospital to celebrate Joe’s discharge, his daughter Lauren Gallagher, an ER doctor in New Bedford, Massachusetts. “He had all the odds stacked against him,” Gallagher said, “I’m so glad he has a second chance.” 

Dr. Marcy Goldstein, a pulmonologist at the Hospital for Special Care said, “He’s part of his family again,” and then added, “It took every single person on this team to make this happen.” 

Pandolfe says, he will continue to rest up at home and looks forward to taking care of his grand kids in the months ahead, “There’s a lot of love here,” he said, “and I’d like to return it.”