PEORIA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) — Months in the hospital went by slowly for a Peoria dad who fought COVID-19. "I got an early July diagnosis, check-in, and I'm going to the ICU, and I've spent the last couple of months in the ICU," said 48-year-old Patrick Hurley.
He's still at Banner Thunderbird Medical Center, dealing with long-haul symptoms. One of the toughest parts of being sick has been staying away from family. He shares a special bond with his little girl, Peyton.
"He's kind," said Peyton. "He's sweet. He's loving." Patrick's wife, Renee, said it's tough on the whole family. "We do everything together," said Renee. "We're never apart, so being apart from him for 77 days has just been torture for all of us, being that she hasn't seen him at all. "
For months, Peyton prayed for her dad, hoping for the day she would see him again. On Thursday, she turned 8, and the only she wanted was to see her dad. "I needed to do anything I could to make that for her," said Renee.
On her eighth birthday, Patrick and Peyton finally reunited at the hospital. They hugged and shared special moments as Peyton opened gifts, and they ate cake together. "Every moment that goes by, you just think about being together, in each other's arms, and to finally have that felt just so wonderful," said Patrick.
"It was magical," said Renee. "It was everything we dreamed of." "He's so special to me," said Peyton.
Patrick has a long road of recovery before he is better, and Peyton has one final wish. "Pray for my daddy to heal," said Peyton. "That would be everything." The family has a GoFundMe page set up here.