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Former corrections officer, 9/11 first responder released from hospital after surviving COVID-19

Posted at 3:14 PM, May 07, 2020

PASCO COUNTY, Fla.— Last week, his family was told to say their last goodbyes. Nine days later, Robert Marrero was wheeled out of a Pasco County hospital as a COVID-19 survivor.

Marrero’s family says he started feeling sick at the end of March. He soon tested positive for COVID-19.

“They had to put him on a vent and into an induced coma,” said Jenny Marrero, Robert’s daughter. “I believe it was a total of 19 days.”

PHOTOS: 9/11 first responder survives COVID-19

When his condition worsened, Marrero was moved into the ICU at Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point. His family says he also spent about 19 days on a ventilator. Marrero is a former New York corrections officer, 9/11 first responder, and cancer survivor.

The family spoke to Marrero on speakerphone every night while he was in the hospital. Last Monday, the family was told he wasn’t going to make it.

“At that time, they told us to come in basically say our goodbyes,” said Jenny. “Myself, my whole entire family, we rushed over there, and we were able to see my dad. We just prayed over him, and within 40 minutes, his vitals became stable. We witnessed a miracle.”

Marrero started breathing more on his own and was taken out of the ICU. After testing negative for COVID-19 and spending more than 30 days in the hospital, Marrero was released Wednesday.

“Happy is not even the word,” said Christine Marrero, Robert’s daughter. “I don’t even have words to describe how I feel. I’m just in awe that this was able to happen.”

Hospital workers lined the hallway cheering Marrero as he left the hospital. His family greeted him outside with t-shirts, signs and big hugs.

“It’s a blessing from God. I had so much faith from the moment my dad went in, that’s the only thing that kept me going,” said Jenny. “It kept my family going, we’re in awe, we can’t believe it.”

Outside the hospital, Robert said it felt great to be going home. Marrero's family says he has a long road to recovery. The Marreros wants everyone to take the COVID-19 outbreak seriously in order to keep all families safe.

“When it hits home, with my father, it’s some serious stuff guys,” said Jenny. “Please wash your hands. Don’t go out if you don’t have to, just stay safe. This is serious. It’s a miracle that I have my dad. We really thought we were going to lose him.”