BISMARCK, ND (CNN) – Friends and family welcomed Kenny Sambor home Saturday with a drive-by party.
The 73-year-old Bismarck, North Dakota man spent more than a month in the hospital, fighting the coronavirus. He’s home, and his family says he’s doing well, but he’s still got a long road to recovery.
His unbelievable story started in March when he traveled to Maryland for the National Curling Championships.
” (It) started to hit me on the plane on the way home,” Sambor says.
That was March 16.
“I started running a temperature for two or three days, feeling really beat up,” Sambor says. “Couldn’t taste anything. Wanted to stay in bed.”
After three days, his daughter insisted he go to the clinic. On March 23, he was admitted to the hospital. He spent the next 29 days in intensive care — 11 of them on a ventilator.
“There’s a very low chance you’re coming off at my age with that disease,” Sambor says.
“It was touch and go there for a lot of days,” his daughter Christina says.
Kenny’s family was not able to visit him in the hospital..
“It was awful,” Christina says.
Which makes having him home even sweeter.
“I’m one lucky guy,” Sambor says.
Kenny’s recovery isn’t complete yet. Unable to walk, he’s started physical therapy and will follow up with a neurologist.
“I’m in a wheelchair,” Sambor says. “But I’m glad to be in a wheelchair.”
He’s sharing his story, in hopes of saving other people’s lives.
“It’s a horrid disease,” he says. “Be smart, be safe,”
“People think it’s people that are frail and could have been killed by the flu,” Christina says. “It’s not that. My dad is not a typical 73-year-old. He is very active.”
Meantime, Kenny is determined to get back to his active lifestyle.
“I will come thru this,” he says. “I will fish again. I’ll hunt again, I’ll golf again, I’ll walk again. I may even run.”