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Man battling COVID-19 for two months in the hospital, returns home

Posted at 8:05 PM, Jan 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-23 20:08:28-05

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WKBW) — Smiles and cheers filled the hospital lobby as a man in a wheelchair left through the front door.

In Niagara Falls, some doctors thought this day wasn't going to come, but Saturday, Richard Portale left the hospital.

The 79-Year-old spent the last 62 days in Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center battling COVID-19.

He's diabetic and a cancer survivor. He was in rough shape.

His family says doctors asked about hospice care a month ago. But, Portale kept fighting. After intensive care, his condition improved. Now he's heading home.

“There is so much doom and gloom in the hospital these days,” said Memorial chief hospitalist Zubair Shaikh, M.D. “Even a small success story needs to be celebrated. And it's really good for the morale of the staff, and obviously for the patient and the patient's family.”

Portale's goal was to watch the bills in the playoffs at home, and now he can.