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Irondale helps city worker leave hospital after COVID battle

Published: Sep. 3, 2021 at 4:23 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Friday was a big day for one Irondale city worker. Frank Pennington left Ascension St. Vincent’s Hospital after battling COVID for 35 days.

Loved ones and several city workers turned out to welcome his release from the hospital and Pennington got an escort to his home in Mount Olive.

It was a surprise for Pennington to see so many coworkers greeting his exit from the hospital. He was happy.

Pennington is still weak after his recovery and it’s difficult for him to talk. His wife Marla was overwhelmed with emotions.

“I’m so thankful. Praise and honor be to God. It’s because of him we are here. 35 days here. Fantastic staff at this hospital,” Marla Pennington said.

Frank Pennington is a 20-year employee at Irondale where he is the public works director.

Police Sargent Michael Mangina with the Irondale Police Department said Pennington is well liked and respected. That’s why so many wanted to be at the hospital to greet him.

“We are just happy for Frank. We love him. We support him. We can’t wait to get back to work,” Mangina said.

Mangina lost his father-in-law to COVID. He said a hospital worker told him Friday that is why moments like this need to be celebrated.

Pennington was never on a ventilator, but his wife says there were times they were not sure he would make it.

“Yes, there were those points. He was in COVID isolation for a couple of weeks. There were a couple of times in there we weren’t sure. But we remained faithful. We trust in God’s plan and he does to,” Marla Pennington said.

Pennington got an official escort by the Irondale Police and Fire Department home. He is looking forward to relaxing, seeing his dogs, and watching the Alabama game Saturday.

Mrs. Pennington said they are grateful to get him home. As for other families dealing with COVID, she said her message is to put their trust in God to get them through a terrible ordeal.

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