By Paul Burton


BRAINTREE (CBS) — Tears of joy and gratitude filled the parking lot at Encompass Health on Saturday as members of Tony Troiano’s family waved to him from outside the Braintree rehab center. Troiano waved back from his bedroom window on the second floor.

The 64-year-old Sandwich man is recovering from COVID-19 and cancer.

“Such a blessing to have a family like this. It makes me feel so good,” Troiano said.

According to his family, Troiano was diagnosed with Leukemia in early March. While battling the disease in the hospital he contracted the coronavirus.

Tony Troiana waving to his friends and family on Saturday. (WBZ-TV)

His wife Laurie has also had coronavirus. This was the first time they’ve seen each other in two and a half months.

“It has been extremely difficult battling the virus myself alone, that part of it, and worrying about him and the challenges he was up against,” Laurie said.

Troiano still has a long road ahead of him. He will be in rehab for at least another two weeks to relearn how to eat and walk.

“I had my baby boy right before he went on the respirator,” said Katie Nelson, Troiano’s daughter. “So, for me, I wanted him to be able to meet his grandson. This is a dream come true. We’ve prayed really hard.”

Family members cheered and held up signs in the parking lot, offering him words of love and encouragement.

“When you get really sick and you get this kind of support, it’s just unbelievable,” Troiano said.

“I hope this gives other people who are battling this hope,” Laurie said.

Paul Burton

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