After being hospitalized for 18 days with COVID-19, celebrated Cuban American pianist Nachito Herrera returned to his White Bear Lake home.

Following his long stay in intensive care on an ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) machine, Herrera finally received two negative tests and his release to go home on Thursday.

In a Facebook post this weekend, the internationally known Twin Cities performer thanked people for their "prayers and positive minds."

"I'm already working with my piano to continue enjoying among all the languages of music, language to unite and never divide," he wrote. "I hope to see you soon and don't forget to keep praying for me."

Meanwhile, Sam Grabarski, former longtime CEO of the Minneapolis Downtown Council, has started a gofundme page for the Herrera family. More than $15,000 has been raised.