On March 8, a man whose name was not released was discharged from 13 days at a Wuhan hospital. He had celebrated his 100th birthday just the month before. His age, combined with three underlying medical conditions – Alzheimer’s disease, hypertension, and heart failure – put him statistically in a high-risk group. Instead, he recovered fully from COVID-19, and was released along with 80 other recovered patients that day.
On March 26, a man known only as “Mr. P” was discharged from a Rimini hospital after only a week of hospitalization. Having survived the Spanish flu pandemic in 1919, it’s only fitting that he survived the novel coronavirus pandemic as well! Of his recovery, the deputy mayor of Rimini, Gloria Lisi, said: “Mr. P made it. The family brought him home yesterday evening. [It teaches us] that even at 101 years, the future is not written.”
Near Rotterdam, Netherlands
A hospital in the Netherlands discharged a 101-year-old woman who recovered from coronavirus on March 31. Sunil Ramlal, hospital pulmonologist, said, “It’s great to see her following the medical advice, like sneezing in her elbow and even telling me to keep proper distance.” Amazingly, the woman, whose name was not released, lives independently, and will return home after resting in a rehabilitation center.
Her name is Italica Grondona, but the doctors at her hospital in Genoa nicknamed her “Highlander – the Immortal”. That’s because, they said, she represents hope for “all the elderly facing this pandemic.” She was admitted after contracting COVID-19, but released on March 26. After taking samples, doctors also confirmed that in 1919, Grondona contracted – and survived – the Spanish flu pandemic.
One of her favorite singers is Queen’s Freddy Mercury, and she loves dancing and singing. Her nephew says, “I don’t know what her secret is, but I know she is a free and independent woman.” Here’s to many years ahead for Italica.
She may be 103 years old, but on March 18 an Iranian woman, whose name was not released, was discharged from a hospital in Semnan, Iran only a week after contracting the virus. The head of Semnan University of Medical Sciences, Navid Danayi, reports that she was “discharged after making a complete recovery.” Good for her!
Lebanon, Oregon, U.S.
He turned 104 on April 1, 2020 – and what a birthday it was! Just a few days before, World War II veteran William Lapschies had been declared fully recovered from the virus, and able to celebrate (at an acceptable distance) with chocolate cake and pizza. His daughter, Carolee Brown, describes his mental state as “very perky” and “very excited.” We don’t blame him!
So, they haven’t reached 100 years old – at least not yet! But these senior citizens fully recovered from COVID-19, and their stories are inspiring. Here are just a few:
90-year-old Geneva Wood is a resident of the Life Care long-term nursing facility in Kirkland, Washington State – which is notorious for being the epicenter of the Seattle outbreak. After her recovery March 20, CBS News calls her “a beacon of hope” for everyone fearing the virus. Upon her diagnosis, her family was understandably “stricken, and in shock.” Geneva’s response? “I’m going to fight this for my family and make everyone proud,” she said. Her daughter, Cami Neidigh, credits the potato soup Geneva insisted she needed to recover – and now the hospital personnel is requesting the recipe!
Swiss woman Gertrude Fatton, 95 years old, refused to be intubated when she was struggling to breathe after contacting COVID-19. “Not at my age, don’t intubate me,” she said, “I have lived my life and I told them, ‘Let me go peacefully’.” Instead, she recovered. For fun, she enjoys chatting with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren on her iPad.
Finally, 99-year-old Rita Reynolds from the UK was declared recovered from the virus on April 2. Her family jokes that she owes her recovery to her ironic diet. “She’s had a terrible diet her entire life,” they shared. “Biscuits, cakes, and marmalade sandwiches – that’s probably what got her through it.”
These are just a few of the amazing senior citizens throughout the world who have recovered from COVID-19. As their healthcare staff and families say, they give us hope for all of us during this time. If they can make it through, so can we. We just have to take care of each other.
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Lemon, Jason. “103-Year-Old Woman Survives Coronavirus.” Newsweek. March 18, 2020.
Mantovani, Cecile. “’I was not afraid’: Swiss woman, 95, back home after surviving coronavirus”. Reuters. March 27, 2020.
May, Luke. “Great-grandmother, 99, becomes oldest Briton to beat coronavirus as her family joke her recovery is down to diet of marmalade and biscuits.” Daily Mail. April 3, 2020.
O’Kane, Caitlin. “90-year-old woman who contracted coronavirus at Seattle senior care facility is now recovering.” CBS News. March 20, 2020.
Porterfield, Carlie. “The Miraculous ‘Mr. P’: 101-Year-Old Italian Man Beats Coronavirus”. Forbes. March, 27, 2020.
Regan, Helen, et al. “A 100-year-old man has recovered from the coronavirus” . CNN. March 8, 2020.
Salo, Jackie. “102-year-old woman from Italy recovers from coronavirus”. New York Post. March 29, 2020.
Shepherd, Katie. “’He just got better and better’: 104-year-old veteran beats coronavirus in time to celebrate his birthday”. The Washington Post. April 3, 2020.