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The coronavirus survival is higher than the death rate. But for those who fall into the high-risk categories, it seems their battles against the virus are destined to be lost. However, this is not the case for at least three centenarians.
They lived through the Spanish Influenza pandemic, WWI, the Great Depression, WWII, and, now, the coronavirus. Ada Zanusso and Vera Mueller defeated COVID-19 at the age of 104. William Lapschies celebrated his 104th birthday shortly after winning his battle.
Ada Zanusso of Biella, Italy
On March 18, 2020, eight days after the Italian government imposed a country-wide lockdown, Zanusso tested positive for the coronavirus. Her son, Giampiero, though she had the virus because of the number of cases diagnosed at the nursing home where she resides in Biella, Italy.
She experienced relentless vomiting, fever, and difficulty breathing, according to Daily Mail. However, once she won her battle with the coronavirus, her doctor reports: “she is up and about and not lying in be, and she can walk to her chair.
She has lost none of her lucidity and intelligence.
Vera Mueller of Winona, Minnesota
Mueller, a resident of the Sauer Health Care in Winona, Minnesota, celebrated her birthday on March 23, with family and friends. They brought her cake, flowers, balloons, and signs for the party. Exercising safety, they stood outside her window, and the staff took photos.
Two days later, she was diagnosed with the coronavirus and quarantined. Mueller’s case was mild; she required oxygen but never left the facility, and never needed a respirator. Her temperature began to fall by March 28, and on April 6, she was fever-free.
Her 70-year-old son, Bob, worried his mom was not going to survive. He told the StarTribune, “I sat there, watching outside the window. We didn’t think she was going to make it. Then, I could see her lips moving. And I just knew she was saying her prayers. She prays every day.” He is convinced that his mom’s faith helped her fight the coronavirus. Bob added:
Her faith and family. That’s what’s kept her going all these years.
Since she is out of danger, the family members have resumed their regular visits, albeit through the window. Bob states they are thankful for her faith and resilience. Moreover, he is full of praise for the attentive staff who cared for his mom during her bout with the coronavirus.
William Lapschies of Lebanon, Oregon
A small group of residents at Edward C. Allworth Veterans’ Home in Lebanon, Oregon, began to feel ill in early March. Initially, doctors diagnosed Lapshcies with pneumonia, but on March 11 when he tested positive for the coronavirus.
“Lapschies’ illness played out like a roller-coaster ride,” according to The Washington Post. Some days his prognosis appeared to show him recovering only to see his condition deteriorate. His smile behind the medical mask was always present.
His granddaughter, Jamie Yutzie described his experience with the coronavirus: “That virus goes up and down, and you really don’t know what the next day is going to bring. After those couple of long days where we weren’t quite sure, he just got better and better.”
On Friday, March 27 the doctors declared he was cleared of the coronavirus. By Wednesday, April 1, he felt well enough to celebrate his 104th birthday. Yutzie told reporters:
He’s got this great big huge contagious smile that just lights up a room.
Current Coronavirus Stats
As of April 13, there are 1,918,855 confirmed coronavirus cases and 119,588 deaths worldwide. In the United States, there are 581,679 confirmed cases and 23,604 people have died from the pathogen.
Written by Cathy Milne-Ware
Daily Mail: A 104-year-old Italian woman who survived the 1918 Spanish Flu has become the world’s oldest person to survive the coronavirus.
StarTribune: At 104, Minnesota woman may be oldest in U.S. to survive COVID-19
The Washington Post: ‘He just got better and better’: 104-year-old veteran beats coronavirus in time to celebrate his birthday
The Oregonian: World’s oldest coronavirus survivor? Oregon veteran lives to celebrate 104th birthday
Image Courtesy of StockSnap’s Pixabay Page – Creative Commons License