CHICAGO (CBS) — On Friday, more than 1,300 new COVID-19 cases were confirmed.

On Thursday, the state topped the 1,000 mark for the first time in a month. Each of those numbers represents a real human being.

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And on Friday, there was good news for a person sick with the coronavirus. A long fought battle with COVID-19 ends with a victory.

CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole has more on the happy homecoming, 85 days in the making.

He needed a walker to help him take his first steps back home, a place he hasn’t seen since April.  But like his t-shirt says Wayne Kusta is virus-free.

“It was no fun getting COVID-19 at all. I wouldn’t wish that on anybody. I beat it,” Kusta said.

To celebrate that victory, friends and family gathered round.

“I am glad he’s home,” said Terri Kusta of Chicago Ridge.

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Wayne Kusta spend a month in the ICU, unconscious on a ventilator with a feeding tube.  When that was behind him, COVID’s grip wouldn’t let go.

“I could not get a therapy going. I’d stand up and it felt like my lungs were in my throat,” Kusta said.

After six weeks in bed, came a month of physical therapy.

“Total rehab. Day after day after day,” remembered Kusta. The 63-year-old proved he was a fighter.

“You name it. They had to teach it to me. My left foot was completely numb. I didn’t think I would walk again. My right arm. I couldn’t even lift a finger,” he said.

And though she couldn’t see him for months, his wife Terri was somehow by his side.

“I couldn’t give up on him,” Terri Kusta said.

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So now surrounded by those who love him, Kusta looks forward to the life his body battled to save.