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After Long Battle With COVID-19, Rockland County Man Embraces Newfound Love For Painting

MONSEY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- A Rockland County man who survived coronavirus is turning out three or four works of art every day.

As CBS2's Tony Aiello reported Wednesday, some of his creations are hanging in the hospital where he came out of a coma with a sudden passion for painting.

READ MOREAfter More Than 280 Days In Westchester County Hospitals, COVID-19 Long Hauler Finally Goes Home

Abe Miller is making up for lost time. He has created more than 500 paintings in the 15 months since he nearly died from COVID-19.

Abe Miller COVID painter2
Artwork by Abe Miller (Photo: CBS2)

"One of the reasons that people told me that I use bright colors must be because I see the world in a different way," Miller said. "Everything is so bright, because you thank God every day that you are living. And now you see it much more, because I was almost gone."

Miller's first painting was made right after he returned home to Monsey after spending seven weeks at Westchester Medical Center.

"I said, 'I want to become an artist, and to paint,' and my family was shocked, and they were laughing because I never painted," Miller said.

On Wednesday, they proudly watched as Miller returned to thank the medical staff. He donated three of his favorite paintings to brighten the hospital hallways.

READ MOREThousands Show Up For Event Showcasing Gowanus Artists

One of the doctors who helped save his life said finding an artistic outlet has helped Miller recover.

"I think it's really important for him to embrace this, and he sort of has a newfound passion in his life and that's how he's dealing with his COVID," Dr. Avi Levine said.

He uses a lively palette, colored by a near-death experience.

"All of a sudden ... I'm painting," Miller said.

It's an unexpected outlet for his artistic sensitivity -- at age 70.

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