KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — An emotional reunion took place on Tuesday for a Knoxville COVID-19 survivor and his family.

Patrick Dalton, 25, visited the Nashville hospital where he battled COVID-19 last year, to thank the health care workers there for saving his life.

“It’s really rewarding to finally get to see them,” Patrick said.

Just over a year after Patrick left Ascension Saint Thomas Hospital West, he and his family were back.

“Happy to see all the people that saved his life, because that’s what they did. They’re saviors,” Patrick’s mom Felicia said.

“When I finally get to see them and remember it, it really makes it definitely worth coming back for. They told me that this helps them remember why they do what they do, and that was really good to hear,” said Patrick.

Patrick spent weeks in the hospital and was on a ventilator before he went to a rehab facility.

The care and attention made all the difference, and so did support from the Knoxville community.

Friends and community members celebrated Patrick’s homecoming in May of last year, holding a welcome home drive-by at CAK, his old high school.

“That was really cool to see that there were so many people willing to take time out of their day to come and welcome me home,” Patrick said.

And Tuesday was another unforgettable day. Patrick’s family says they are blessed and grateful.

“We’re thinking about them and just we’re just thankful for everything that they have done,” said Patrick.

Felicia said this has taught her family to love harder and appreciate more. She is also reminding people to still protect themselves against COVID-19.