(WGGB/WSHM) -- A recovered COVID-19 patient is still fighting to get back to his old self.

“This can really take a lot from somebody…and it's hard,” said Richard Daviau.

Daviau tested positive for COVID-19 back in April.

Western Mass News has followed his battle both in the hospital and now back at home.

Now virus-free, Daviau said he is thankful he did not lose his life, but he said he did lose something - the ability to be himself.

“It took my lifestyle. I loved cooking. I can't wait to get back…it took a lot…it took a lot,” Daviau explained.

Daviau was at Baystate Medical Center for 80 days, followed by a month at a rehab center and now, he said while he sees improvement in his physical condition, there is still a long road ahead.

One of the biggest side effects that is impacting his health and also his restaurant - Damn Yankees BBQ - is that he is not able to fully open his hands or make a fist.

Daviau told Western Mass News he will undergo a procedure to help get movement back in his hands.

“They’re going to break my joints to break up the scar tissue for being like this for so long in the hospital,” Daviau said.

Daviau continues to experience other lingering side effects.

“I get winded every once in a while. It's still hard for me to take deep breaths. My lung capacity isn't what it used to be,” Daviau noted.

While Daviau has been recovering, two employees have been running his restaurant, but he told us he's decided to close down temporarily at the end of the month because of his continued recovery needs and for financial reasons.

“It's not fair to my employees, Jess and Nate, to have to keep this up. They're good kids. They have stuck by me from literally day one,” Daviau explained.

At this time, he doesn't know when he will be back open for business.

“If I can pick up a knife again, if I can open my hands again, if I can do the things that I can do, then I will go back,” Daviau added.

In the meantime, Daviau's cousin and his wife have organized a fundraiser on Monday, October 19 at Frontera Grill in Chicopee.

On Monday, Frontera Grill will donate 20 percent of all meal sales to the Daviau family.

For more information, CLICK HERE.

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