Suffield emergency responders came together on Wednesday morning to celebrate John Ryan, a volunteer EMT who was released from the hospital nearly two months after being admitted for treatment of COVID-19.
"I am so happy to be out after 59 days. The people here, the nurses, the docs, the techs, the CNAs, everybody. They gave me my life back," the 61-year-old Ryan said.
It was an emotional moment as Ryan was released from the hospital as members of the Suffield Volunteer Ambulance Association and emergency medical services professionals in Suffield greeted and celebrated him as he was discharged from Mount Sinai Rehabilitation Hospital in Hartford this morning.
"It's such a nice thing to be outside, going home," he said. "I feel wonderful."
Ryan said he would not wish COVID-19 on anyone, the disease was terrible and so was the isolation until he tested positive.
Now Ryan hopes to walk again and wants be back working on an ambulance in October because a lot of people need help.
"Everybody's here today for a gentleman that's just .. his strength, his determination, his will has really led him to where he's at today and it really shows by the turnout that he has from his friends, colleagues that they want to see him off is really an attribute of what he's like as an individual," Steven Kunsman, director of operations for Mount Sinai Rehabilitation Hospital, said.
John Spencer, of Suffield Volunteer Ambulance Service, and the emergency management director for Suffield, was there to cheer on Ryan. He said they were in touch by text until Ryan became critically ill
"We're here to show our love and appreciation for him when he goes home," Spencer said.
"It's important to know we haven't forgotten about him. The community hasn't forgotten about him," Spencer added.
The support extended beyond Suffield. Hartford also sent crews, Spencer said.