'He's a fighter': Kitchener man continues recovery after months in hospital with COVID-19

A Kitchener man who spent three months in hospital due to COVID-19 and other complications is still suffering lingering effects of his illness.

"I can slowly feel myself getting a wee bit stronger, but it's going to be baby steps," Larry Dietrich said. "It takes time."

Dietrich tested positive for COVID-19 in December. He was in hospital for 90 days and lost muscle mass, which makes mobility a struggle. He also still relies on a feeding tube.

"It's heartbreaking," his daughter, Alyssia Dietrich said. "Nobody wants to be told at 58 that they can never eat again."

Larry was able to come home last month and is now working out a schedule for two more surgeries. One will repair his damaged vocal cords and the other will help his esophagus so he can eat solid foods again.

"We can stop using the spreadsheets that we created to track his calories and we can just move on like a normal family and get back to what that was, if that exists," Alyssia said.

The Dietrichs said they're grateful for the community support they've received since Larry came home.

"We have a retired physiotherapist coming here for nothing but a coffee, we've had our bathroom redone for free," Alyssia said.

Larry has plans for when things go back to normal.

"Go to Swiss Chalet or go to Port Elgin beach," he said.

His family plans to be there every step of the way.

"I always believed that he's going to come back," his wife, Janice, said. "He's a fighter and he'd be back with me."