Just days after going into the hospital, doctors told his wife she should say her goodbyes. But Kelly never gave up and neither did his doctors.
"When I was in the coma, it happened so fast. I was an early patient," Kelly said. "They vented me three days after I entered because they didn't know what else do."
Kelly was diagnosed with COVID-19 back in March and he finally left the Jewish Home's long-term care facility 128 days later - 51 of those days were spent on a ventilator.
"Larry looked very healthy when he came to us," said Jessica Montanaro with Mount Sinai Morningside. "When I returned two days later he was intubated, he was on sedatives, he was on life sustaining drips."
This was at the beginning of the pandemic and Kelly was only the second COVID case in the ICU at Mount Sinai Morningside.
"His wife and his daughter was one of the first families I stood with outside his room to see him or maybe never see him again and that was a extremely powerful moment for both myself and his wife," Montanaro said.
As for the very first place Kelly wanted to go? That would be Dive Bar on the Upper West Side.
"Yes, knowing what I know about Larry that makes perfect sense," Montanaro said.
And Dive Bar gave the 64-year-old a hero's welcome after he was released from the hospital.
"There's a lot of people rooting for him. There are a lot of people that hang with him, share drinks with him. He makes us all smile," Dive Bar's owner said.
"I was never a true believer and I'm really changed now. I was so overwhelmed by the prayers and thoughts, and I know that that had a part of it. I know it did," Kelly said.
WATCH THE SERIES: EYEWITNESS TO A PANDEMIC (Episode 6 below)