FEDERAL WAY, Wash. — At face value, Robert Estrada is a very impressive person.
He’s a proud Navy retiree who fought in 6 missions in World War II. He turns 95 in two weeks and has been married to his wife, Lou, for over 70 years.
Adding another milestone to his long life: he recently beat the coronavirus.
Estrada was all smiles on Tuesday despite the mixed emotions surrounding his homecoming.
Both Robert and his wife contracted the coronavirus around the same time in March. They both became very ill and were hospitalized.
The pair were separated by a wall at Good Samaritan Hospital in Puyallup but unfortunately, Lou died from coronavirus around a month ago.
For weeks, Robert didn’t know she was gone. His daughters decided he had recovered enough to learn he lost his wife of seven decades.
“It was the hardest conversation I’ve ever had. To tell my dad of 94 years that his wife was gone? We were scared he would simply give in and give up," said daughter Suzanne.
Instead, Robert became more motivated than ever to recover and rejoin his family for “Saturday dinner.”
Exactly 100 days after he was rushed to the hospital for treatment, Robert was wheeled out of a rehab facility in Federal Way. He was met by a small gathering of family and friends.
When he removed his mask, he had a big smile on his face and exclaimed "fresh air!"
He is now returning home to recover and spend time with his family in Auburn.