KITCHENER -- A Kitchener man was able to return home on Wednesday after spending nearly three months in hospital with COVID-19 and other health complications.

Larry Dietrich's family was waiting for him outside for a distanced welcome home celebration,

Hospital staff play "Here Comes the Sun" by The Beatles whenever a COVID-19 patient is discharged.

"I was counting the hours," Dietrich said.

His daughter, Alyssia Dietrich, said she was overwhelmed while wheeling him out.

"Happy tears instead of sad tears," Alyssia said.

Dietrich tested positive for COVID-19 on Dec. 2. Since then, he's spent time at St. Mary's Hospital and Grand River Hospital's Freeport Campus.

"I missed Christmas, I missed it all," Larry said. "I'm glad to be home."

Larry's family said he had COVID-19 for 21 days and then suffered multiple complications, like a damaged esophagus. At one point, he was in the ICU on life support and his family didn't know if he would make it.

"I gave him true forgiveness that night, in case he was going to go in heaven," Alyssia said.

Family members said they believed the 58-year-old was determined to get better.

"We knew deep down that he was," Larry's sister, Lorie Brown, said. "It was going to be a long road, but he would pull through."

"He had a lack of mobility he had to work on, he had a dietician working with him for eating, got a speech pathologist working with him for speech," Ayssia said.

He's come a long way and can now take a stroll with his walker.

"I couldn't even walk two to three inches I had to sit down, because I had no air," Larry said.

The family said they're overwhelmed by all the support, including $12,000 raised through an online fundraiser.

"We had miracle men from our church to do labour for free to build my dad an accessible bathroom," Alyssia said.

Larry said he's appreciative of all the love and support from friends, family and even strangers who helped him get through his illness.