WALLINGFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Longtime Wallingford EMT Lenny Guercia was reunited with family Saturday afternoon after a 53 day battle with coronavirus.

“Today is the first day of the rest of my life,” he said.

The father of three was released from Gaylord Hospital after a grueling battle with coronavirus. He was on a ventilator for three weeks at Yale-New Haven Hospital before he was transferred to Gaylord to recover.

But for those 53 days he sat, not worried about himself but about the community he serves.

“I take care of other people, it’s hard for people to take care of me,” Guercia said. “I got here, I couldn’t walk, and they saw me walk out. It’s been a long 53 days.”

And even longer for his family. His kids, Jake, Tyler, and Alexa were overjoyed and relieved to have their dad coming home.

“To be one of the ones to help my dad in the ambulance when he was first brought to the hospital and to be able to hug him when he got out was unlike anything else,” said Jake.

“We’ve been able to talk to him on FaceTime but it’s not the same as when we see him in person and it just felt really good to be with him again,” said Alexa.

Tyler said, “So much joy was in my heart at that point because I love him so much and I miss him so much.”

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Lenny Guercia was awarded the Cornelius Driscoll Award for Outstanding Public Service, a recognition from The Greater New Haven St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee.

Lenny has dedicated his life to public safety and service beginning back in 1987 when he began working as an EMT at American Medical Response.