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'I'm great. I'm alive.' Greenwich COVID survivor reflects on life and struggles since record hospital stay

News 12 The Bronx
By Marissa Alter
March 16, 2023

George Kelakos, 66, of Greenwich has spent 40 years turning around businesses, bringing them back from disaster, as a lawyer and bankruptcy specialist. Now he's applying lessons learned in his career to his life.

"I'm doing my own turnaround. And in a turnaround, you don't look back and say, 'Woe is me.' You say, 'Ok, lessons that I learned, where am I now, and where do I want to go?'" Kelakos told News 12.

Kelakos was perfectly healthy until a near fatal bout with COVID-19. He holds a record no one wants--the longest stay of any COVID patient at Greenwich Hospital--146 days. Kelokos was admitted in November 2020 with low oxygen levels. He spent two months in a coma with his wife calling to the hospital more than once to say goodbye.

"They were going to apparently take me off the machine, and she fought. She said 'No. My husband's a fighter.' And then I just woke up," Kelakos said.

But the fight was far from over. Kelakos needed to relearn how to do everything. He spent three months at a rehab facility in Stamford, then another few at Gaylord Hospital in Wallingford, and six months rehabbing in Michigan with family. He didn't return home until April 2021, one full year after leaving Greenwich Hospital.