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84-year-old Michigan veteran welcomed home after fighting COVID-19 in hospital for 2 months

Posted at 9:01 AM, Jan 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-05 09:07:56-05

STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. — Lou Cardinale, an 84-year-old veteran from Sterling Heights, was welcomed back home by his family Monday after spending two months in the hospital during a bout with COVID-19.

Raechel Soave, one of Lou's six grandchildren, said her grandfather — or 'Papa,' as they call him — was in great shape before contracting the virus, noting his love for golf, bowling and hockey.

Soave said that her grandfather spent 10 days in the ICU at Henry Ford Macomb Hospital in early November before being transferred to other facilities for rehabilitation. During it all, Cardinale was unable to see loved ones, besides a few quick visits through glass during the latter part of his stay.

"We are a very close family and he is a social butterfly," Soave said. "While he was in the ICU, he sent us a photo of him holding up a peace sign and said goodnight to us."

That's when the family began doing the same, sending photos back to Lou with the peace sign to say goodnight.

Since Carindale missed his birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day during his fight, his family decorated the yard of his Sterling Heights home to help him celebrate the moments he missed.

On Monday afternoon, his family held a welcome back drive-thru event for Lou, letting him know that they sure did miss him. Soave says they hope his story inspires others in the community who may be having a hard time.

"Times are extremely tough right now for a lot of people and we want to spread some hope and love to those in need of some faith," she said.

This story was originally published by Alexandra Bahou on WXYZ in Detroit.