'It doesn't seem real': COVID-19 patient reunited with family after spending 120 days in hospital
TORONTO -- An Ontario man has been reunited with his wife and family after spending 120 days in the hospital following a battle with COVID-19.
Craig Wilson, a retired fire captain from Whitby, Ont., has spent roughly four months in hospital with severe health complications after contracting COVID-19. His wife, Mary Wilson, says being able to see him again is surreal.
"I can't describe the feelings. There's so many feelings," Mary said in an interview with CTV National News.
Mary says it has been an agonizing wait for Craig to return home amid the pandemic.
"It doesn't seem real at all really," she said while waiting outside the hospital to pick him up.
At one point, Mary said Craig's condition became so grave that he was on the cusp of death and she had to say her goodbyes to him.
Their separation finally ended on Friday, which happens to be the 49th anniversary of their first date.
"Hello girl, we're going to have a paper kiss," Craig said outside the hospital as he embraced Mary for a masked smooch.
"Hi my sweet man," Mary said.
At home, Craig was greeted with a drive-by parade of cheering family and friends who dropped off gifts. Craig's former colleagues from the Ajax Fire Department also showed up in a fire truck.
"I didn't expect any of this. People have come from all over," Craig said. "I just can't express the appreciation over the last four months."
Even random well-wishers stopped by to show their support, including the couple next door who just moved in.
"Well it's a different way to meet your neighbour to be sure," Dave Dalziel said.
The significance of Craig's return isn’t lost on anyone, including his son, Trevor Wilson.
Trevor said it is "unbelievable" that his father has returned home given the condition he was once in.
"January 25th I started to mentally prepare his funeral speech," Trevor said.
"He's the most incredible man I've ever met and he just means so much to so many people," he added.
Craig said he is "overwhelmed" to be back home with his family, as many other Canadians have not had the same outcome following a battle with COVID-19.
"I feel bad for all the families they don't have this kind of welcome because they didn't make it. It’s serious," Craig said.
While Craig has recovered from COVID-19, he still has a long health journey ahead of him.
"I have to do dialysis three times a week as result of COVID. My kidneys failed and that's one of the reasons I spent so much time in hospital," Craig explained.
He says the aftermath of the disease will impact the rest of his life.
"It's more than just COVID. There's all kind of long lasting effects for people that have been in this situation, and worse outcomes," Craig said.
Craig said he is grateful for the health-care workers he believes saved his life.
Mary said their experience shows that Canadians have another weapon besides vaccine in the fight against COVID-19: hope.
"You kind of hear about miracles, but you're skeptical whether you believe them or not. Now I know they're real," Mary said.