Gatineau man returns home after near death experience with COVID-19
It’s the reunion Gatineau's Peter Simard and his loved ones have been waiting for.
"It’s nice to be home and just to come outside, the way I am right now is just fantastic," said Simard.
Just months ago, the 59-year-old was at death’s door. He contracted COVID-19 in August and was put into an induced coma on a ventilator for two-and-a-half months.
His family was told he going to die, but Simard pulled through and after months in rehab, he’s finally home.
"Could you imagine being away eight-and-a-half months from your home, your family?" he said. "And with COVID-19 situation, no visitors that didn’t help, but I’m glad to be home."
Simard’s family lined up near his home in Gatineau on Saturday for a drive-by parade. It’s the first time they’re seeing each other in person since August.
"He looks top shape. It’s very nice to see him and the family gathered and you can see it really means something to him," said one nephew.
"FaceTime is nice, Facebook is nice, but in real person it’s a hundred percent right," said Simard as he waved to the honking cars.
"So happy to have him back home, it’s like the best days in our lives," said daughter, Claire Simard.
"Peter is my uncle, glad to see him back home safe," said another nephew.
Once all the cars have come and gone, there's still a long road ahead for Simard and his wife.
"To be able to walk would be nice," he said. "I walk with a walker now but my breath is what goes first. I can go 30 feet and then I lose. I have to sit down and catch my breath.”
"The next two months is finding a balance between how it was before and how it’s gonna be," said wife Celine Lafreniere.