Jeremy Klawsky, a video coordinator with the University of Georgia football program, was discharged Thursday afternoon from a hospital where he had been hospitalized for the past six weeks with Covid-19, the university's athletics department announced.
Klawsky, a 32-year-old from Plantation, Florida, was given a "Hero's Walk" at Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center, where staff lined the hallways to bid him farewell.
"This is what victory looks like. This is what hope looks like," a Piedmont Healthcare tweet said.
"It was just amazing. A dream come true," Klawsky's mother Sherry Klawsky told CNN. "What was really amazing were the people, the hospital nurses and doctors, the respiratory therapists who helped him on the way. It was amazing the group of people they have at the hospital. They made this moment possible. It was just surreal.
"You see that on the TV but you never think that you would be there walking with your husband your son and his girlfriend by so many people. It was just overwhelming."
University of Georgia Athletic Association staff, including Bulldogs head football coach Kirby Smart, were able to participate in the ceremony by waiting outside to view Klawsky and his family as he exited.
"Thank you to all of the healthcare workers that took care of him and continue to keep Georgia safe," the university's athletic department said in a tweet.
Klawsky was admitted to the hospital on March 10, Sherry Klawsky said. Initially, it wasn't believed that he had Covid-19.
"When he was first admitted, they thought he had Flu A and pneumonia," she said.
Klawsky was put on a ventilator on March 13 and was tested for Covid-19 on March 16. He tested positive for the virus March 18.
"That was scary when he was told that he was going to be put on a ventilator," Sherry Klawsky said. "The first question he asked was, 'Am I going to die?'"
On Thursday, Klawsky was able to get out of a wheelchair and walk to the car himself when he left the hospital, Sherry Klawsky said. He will continue to receive therapy as he recovers.
"He's getting there," Sherry Klawsky told CNN. "It's his first day back to his house and he's resting a lot and he really wants to eat, which is good."
While he was hospitalized, Klawsky didn't know about all of the news surrounding the coronavirus, his mother said.
"He's just realizing how lucky he really is," Sherry Klawsky said.