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Herrera Family Homecoming Celebrated By Community
Herrera fam
The Herrera family was reunited on Friday, Feb. 11 after mom Stephanie spent several months hospitalized and in rehabilitation following a lengthy battle with COVID-19. Sons Brennan, 8, at left and Camden, 4, welcomed her home, after husband Michael provided the ride from Roseville. Marg Jackson/The Times

After spending more than six months away from home, hospitalized and in rehabilitation as a result of battling COVID-19, Stephanie Herrera came home.

The milestone moment was celebrated in Escalon on Friday, Feb. 11 with a large crowd of family members, friends, neighbors and well-wishers on hand to welcome her back.

Stephanie’s long journey included stints at a couple of rehabilitation facilities as well as hospitals, and she was discharged on Friday.

“She’s a miracle,” husband Michael said of his wife, who not only battles MS but was in a fight for her life against the Delta variant of COVID-19, first hospitalized last August.

The 38-year-old mother of two was discharged from a Roseville rehabilitation center on Friday, late morning, and their arrival in Escalon was greeted with a small caravan at the intersection of Lone Tree and Escalon-Bellota roads, then passed under a water spray over Miller Avenue courtesy of Escalon Public Works crews before finally turning on to Stanislaus Street and pulling in to the family home driveway.

Oldest son Brennan, 8, is a third grader at Dent Elementary and his teacher, Becky Head, was granted permission by school officials to have the class there to support Brennan and the family, holding signs to welcome Stephanie home.

“It has been very hard,” young Brennan admitted. “Crazy how long she has been gone.”

Brennan and little brother Camden, 4, could hardly wait for the car to stop and the door to open before being able to share a hug with their mom – after having only FaceTime to carry them through the last several months.

Michael Herrera said he was buoyed by the support from family, friends, the community – all of whom joined forces to keep the family in their prayers and often providing them with food, help with the boys and a wide variety of support.

Orange ribbons were tied around trees, fence posts and orange balloons were in evidence along the homecoming route and throughout the neighborhood as well, as it is Stephanie’s favorite color. It was a bright homecoming ... and one that saw many people sharing tears of joy for the family.

Awash in happiness and also admitting to being overwhelmed because she hadn’t been home in six months, Stephanie offered a few words to those attending.

“I thank you, everybody, for your support … it means a lot.”

Third grade teacher Becky Head was granted permission by the school administration to have her Dent class at the home of Michael and Stephanie Herrera on Friday afternoon; Stephanie was coming home after several months of hospitalization. Oldest son Brennan, front row left, is in Head’s class. Marg Jackson/The Times
Dozens of well-wishers turned out to welcome Stephanie Herrera home to her Stanislaus Street residence on Friday afternoon, here waving to the crowd as she and husband Michael prepare to turn in to their driveway. Marg Jackson/The Times