The community rallied around him throughout the entire ordeal and was there to give him a warm welcome home Wednesday.
After 40 days battling COVID at Richmond University Medical Center on Staten Island, St. Peter's Boys High School Principal Michael Consentino was finally coming home.
"We've been praying for so long that all I can say is prayers really work," parent Catherine Cammiller told CBS2's Aundrea Cline-Thomas.
"He, like, has this power to push you to your limit and stuff for school and especially football," student Thomas Cammiller said.
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Outside, there was an emotional celebration as students, administrators and families filled the hospital's driveway.
"Young man, 35 years old, four kids, strong as an ox, so to speak, like a son to me, and just hard to believe he went through this," said John Fodera, president of St. Peter's Boys High School.
The community has been practically holding vigil for their beloved principal since he was admitted to the hospital on June 12.
Days later, he was on a ventilator.
"It means the world to me that everyone came to rally around me. The love and the support and the prayers, I'm just thankful to God that I'm alive and everyone around me," Consentino said.
Even doctors are calling his recovery extraordinary.
"He was definitely one of the most severely ill patients that we've seen," Dr. Keith Diaz said.
That's of all the hospital's patients nearly a year and a half into the pandemic, just showing how the virus still remains a threat.
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As for Consentino's vaccination status, his family requested to keep that private.
With prayers, great medical care and sheer will, doctors say Consentino was able to pull through.
Doctors say Consentino will remain on oxygen for another few weeks, but they expect him to recover and eventually resume his full duties at school.
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