SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- After spending 80 days at Baystate Medical Center, he was allowed to leave this morning.

It was a day of many cheers, hugs, and smiles for the Daviau family.

After battling COVID-19 since early April, Richard Daviau was finally well enough to leave Wednesday morning.

"I just had that feeling in my heart that he was going to be okay," said Richard's daughter Lizzie.

While his chances of surviving were low, Lizzie told Western Mass News her dad is a warrior, and she knew he would make it out okay.

"I never gave up, I never gave up hope. I was always very positive even when they told us he had a 12 percent chance of living," she said. "I knew he was going to survive."

Lizzie - after seeing her father for the first time since his diagnosis - was right by his side as he was released.

"It was so good. It was the first time I got to see him in a long time, and I got to walk him out. It was just the best feeling ever. I know that he was, and he's going to be safe," Lizzie explained.

His oldest daughter, Samantha told Western Mass News, one of the biggest takeaways from her dad’s journey is that everyone needs to stay vigilant to keep the virus from spreading.

"You still need to be cautious, you still need to wear a mask, [and] you still to be aware the virus is still a real thing," Samantha said.

Richard still has a long road ahead. His sister, Debbie said that while he's off a ventilator, he still needs a trachea tube to help him breathe.

He'll now undergo physical therapy at Whittier Rehabilitation Hospital in Westborough.

"He's going to need to learn to walk and to use his lymphs and write and eat," Debbie explained.

As for the road ahead, Debbie told Western Mass News there is a lot of work to be done, but knowing Richard’s strength and determination, he will hopefully be out of rehab in no time.

"I think knowing Richard, it will be a short stay, at least we hope so," she said. "He's proven already that he's a fighter so I think he's going to go there, and he's going to work hard and get back to his family."

The Daviau family hosted a car parade in honor of Richard’s release, which started at the Lifepoint Church in Chicopee and concluded at his daughter’s house on South Street in Granby. It went on until 8 p.m. Wednesday.

Copyright 2020 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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