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New Hartford serenades COVID survivor

A drive-by parade was organized for a man after spending nearly two months in the hospital with COVID.

Posted: Jan 1, 2021 9:10 PM

NEW HARTFORD, N.Y. - A New Hartford man returned home after a nearly two month hospital stay to a parade of cars welcoming him back.

The family of Rich Mustee, 41, organized the parade as a surprise after a long bout with COVID-19 nearly took his life. Drivers honked their horns and passengers held up signs to serenade Mustee, as he sat on his porch with his wife Pam and five-year-old daughter.

"We have had an outpouring of community support, unlike anything I've ever seen," said Pam Mustee. "From Christmas gifts delivered from the ICU staff at MVHS, all the way through anonymous gifts in our mailbox to people just coming and literally moving my garbage cans up the driveway for me so that I wouldn't have to do it. We've just been beyond blessed, and we are so thankful for everything that everyone has done for us."

Mustee, who had no preexisting conditions, was admitted to the ICU on November 11 after experiencing low oxygen levels. He tested positive for COVID-19, and spent the next three weeks on a ventilator. He was in the hospital for both Thanksgiving and Christmas.

"We live in an awesome community," Pam Mustee said. "The greater city of Utica, New Hartford, Whitesboro, we are all just very blessed to have each other. It's important that we lift each other up right now, and stay positive and stay strong."

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1228867

Reported Deaths: 40806
CountyCasesDeaths
Queens1534247815
Kings1503768020
Suffolk1243842560
Nassau1113932529
Bronx1027395252
Westchester829331780
New York736343424
Erie507161350
Richmond437851367
Monroe43226742
Rockland31346806
Orange28168642
Onondaga26954520
Oneida16342335
Dutchess16115298
Albany15771251
Niagara11664235
Broome10743249
Saratoga883978
Schenectady8347118
Ulster7448186
Rensselaer6596101
Putnam629472
Chemung5479107
Chautauqua535054
Oswego476262
Ontario459279
Steuben4496130
Cayuga426769
Sullivan375148
Wayne356850
Genesee356696
Herkimer348548
St. Lawrence343756
Cattaraugus330860
Madison304775
Jefferson303121
Livingston260537
Cortland258753
Tompkins257222
Columbia234467
Allegany231375
Tioga214554
Montgomery212372
Wyoming207541
Clinton204016
Fulton199947
Warren198237
Greene196455
Orleans188268
Chenango168039
Otsego160021
Washington142421
Lewis141922
Seneca117745
Franklin10869
Delaware98316
Essex95216
Schoharie8735
Yates78316
Schuyler69910
Hamilton1451
Unassigned3992
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