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A parade of well-wishers for Albion woman back home from near-fatal case of the flu

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 12 April 2020 at 6:31 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – A line of 25 vehicles heads down East Park Street this afternoon to welcome Sue Babbitt home. Babbitt is a well-liked office manager at the Ace Hardware in Albion.

She battled through a near fatal case of the flu and pneumonia, which deteriorated into acute respiratory distress syndrome. She came home on Friday. She was admitted to intensive care on March 11 at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester.

Sue Babbitt is emotional when she was greeted this afternoon by a procession of family, friends and co-workers. Her husband, Ray Babbitt, is with her on the front porch.

Babbitt’s family and friends weren’t able to see her in the hospital after March 16. That’s when Strong instituted a policy of no visitors due to the coronavirus pandemic.

After pulling through at Strong, she was transferred to Elderwood of Lakeside in Brockport. She was discharged on Friday and was finally able to see some of her loved ones.

But it wasn’t until today that many of her friends, family and co-workers were able to see her. They were relieved to see her in good spirits.

“Everybody wanted to see her so badly,” said Sue’s daughter, Jennifer Deskins.

She put an invitation on Facebook for a welcome home parade for her mother. There were 25 vehicles in the procession. They lined up at the CRFS parking on East Avenue and then headed past Sue’s house.

Gerry and Molly Ulrich, owners of Ace Hardware in Albion, made the trip from Lockport today to drive by Babbitt’s house. Babbitt is popular at the store, especially with her co-workers. She oversees the cashiers, who tend to be high school and college students.

“She awfully good to the cashiers,” said Ray Babbitt, Sue’s husband and an Ace employee. “She’s like a mother to all of them.”

Ray said he is grateful for his wife’s recovery. It feels miraculous to see her now. About a month ago doctors were doubtful she would survive the illness.

Sue said she feels much better now and is grateful for the medical staff at Strong.

“The people who cared for me you couldn’t ask for better people,” she said.

She was amazed to see so many people drive by her house today to show her some love, especially on the Easter holiday.

Many of the vehicles had signs, welcoming Sue Babbitt home after a difficult month battling flu and pneumonia.

Jennifer Deskins captured a video of the procession and streamed it online through Zoom for friends and family around the country and world, including a stepbrother, Michael Babbitt, who is in the Air Force and stationed in Germany.

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