People lined the streets in Fate Friday as sirens and flashing lights came down the street, signifying a huge step forward in Public Safety Officer Clint Willoughby’s recovery from COVID-19.
Between hospital stays and rehabilitation, Willoughby was away from home for 121 days.
"It's been a long time, so I'm very grateful and glad to be home,” said Willoughby.
As friends and family welcomed him home, they did so around the Christmas tree that was still standing after being decorated just days before Willoughby’s wife Cynthia was hospitalized with COVID-19 and then him.
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“I tell people all the time that on one hand, the last four months have been such a blur. And on the other hand, it feels like time stood still. So it's just so hard to explain what the last four months have been like for us,” said Cynthia.
Clint says between the day he was admitted and New Year’s Day, there’s little he remembers.
Now home, he’s still trying to wrap his mind around the countless people who prayed for this day to come.
"I don't feel I'm deserving of all that, but it was definitely humbling to see how many people and stuff,” said Willoughby.
Willoughby said doctors have prepared him for full recovery to take up to a year as he continues outpatient rehabilitation to regain lost strength, though he hopes it’s not that long before he’s back on the job.
For now, he said simply being home with his wife, daughters and grandkids is enough.
"I can't ask for anything else,” said Willoughby.