Frankie Ballard spent 232 days in a hospital fighting a pandemic virus that tried to take his life many times.
On Tuesday, he returned to his Erwin home with a police and fire escort to a crowd of loved ones anxious to see him.
“For 232 days I held you in my heart… Today I get to hold you in my arms! Welcome home Dad!” read a sign staked in front of Ballard’s home.
“We missed you,” read another.
Ballard first entered the hospital in February.
“Had you not known what happened with Frankie, you’d say, ‘Big deal,’” said Ricky Manning. “But if you had seen what has gone on in his life and the life of his family, you could say that God has given us a miracle. I think it was something like a 5% chance that they gave him to live and look at him now.”
Ballard greeted loved ones with hugs from a wheelchair Tuesday afternoon as his daughter wheeled an oxygen tank behind him.
“It is a miracle and only God can get the glory,” Manning said.
Tuesday marked another special moment for Frankie Ballard as he celebrated his 46th anniversary with his wife, Revonda, finally by his side.
“I think I’m more excited today than I was 46 years ago,” said Revonda Ballard, fighting back tears. “I’m just so happy, so relieved, so thankful. It’s been a long, hard journey. … I’m just thankful to have him home.”
While Frankie Ballard was in the hospital, volunteers built a ramp up to the back deck of his house.
“I appreciate everybody coming out,” Frankie Ballard said, behind a mask. “I don’t deserve all this. I appreciate what they’ve done. I thank everybody that has helped in any way they could, especially building a deck and stuff like that.”
He was looking forward to getting back to his recliner.
“What he doesn’t know is his old recliner is no more. He’s got a new recliner,” his wife quipped as he was wheeled into the home he’d missed.
-Dunn Daily Record