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Community Rallies Around COVID Survivor

We hear all these Statistics and Numbers constantly when it comes to the Pandemic. So sometimes it’s easy to forget that these are real people behind the numbers. We met a COVID Survivor in Cambria County this week who says he’s one of the lucky ones. He spent over 200 days in the Hospital and is now begging people to get the Vaccine.

71-year-old Frank Arcurio of Johnstown says he was a healthy guy. Arcurio adding: “I’ve always been one to have fun. A good friend of mine says to me, ‘Life’s no dress rehearsal.’ I never forgot that. I enjoy life.” But that all changed — when he contracted COVID-19 in November of 2020 — and was hospitalized. Arcurio adding: “I don’t remember anything until the first part of March.”

Frank spent 212 days in the Hospital — spending time in the ICU on a Ventilator and Feeding Tube — while battling infections and wounds. Then, he went from Medical hardships to Financial hardships. At one point in his Recovery journey — Frank’s Medical Insurances were depleted — with expensive copays adding up. Rose Arcurio, Frank’s Wife saying: “When they see a patient is not progressing to their Medical Director standards, they will deny coverage.” So Frank went to a Nursing Home and then a Rehab Facility before coming home in June. He was greeted with a warm welcome home parade from his Family, the Community, and even First Responders.

As thousand of people have died from COVID-19 — Frank says he’s one of the lucky ones — especially because it hits close to home. Arcurio adding: “I lost my brother in March from COVID. 55 years old. Heartbreak.”

But Frank still has a long road ahead — with paralysis in his hands and legs — setting goals along the way. Arcurio saying: “My first goal was to eat spaghetti and meatballs. I’ve achieved that. My second goal is to walk, and my third goal is to drive.”

And now, he’s pushing people to get the Vaccine after he even got both doses himself. Arcurio saying: “Please get a shot. Please. It’s so important.”

In the meantime — he feels the support from Friends, Family, God, and strangers. Arcurio adding: “I’m not going to lose this fight. I’m determined to win.”

A Fundraiser was held for Frank Saturday afternoon at the “Union Social Club” in Johnstown. Frank’s Insurance was depleted during his recovery journey, so the Family says this Event will help cover Medical Expenses. They had a Basket Party, Signed Penguin Memorabilia to give away, food and drink, and prizes.

Frank Arcurio saying: “It kind of makes me feel good, because I’ve worked in the community all my life, giving out Scholarships and working on Committees to help people. And I feel like this is my return. It kind of makes me feel really good, really proud.”

You can Donate to Frank’s Family by visiting the GoFundMe page.

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