You’ve heard the bad news. But have you heard about the elderly people who beat coronavirus?
The COVID-19 pandemic confirmed cases have reached over 1.3 million, with almost 74,000 deaths worldwide. It spans 184 countries with the U.S., Spain, Italy, Germany, and France reporting the most cases. China falls closely behind.
Our entire global operations have almost come to a screeching halt the past few weeks to try to contain the virus. While most people have recovered, doctors and nurses scramble to keep up with the surge in patients. The elderly have the65-74-year-olds have up to a 5% mortality rate; 75-84-year-olds have up to 10%; and those 85 and older have up to a 27% risk of death, according to the CDC.
However, we don’t want to focus on the deaths in this article. We want to bring you the stories of people who have beat the toughest odds despite their age. If you have been feeling uneasy or anxious about the virus, we hope these stories bring you support and relief during this time.
Here are five people ranging in age from 86 to 104 who beat coronavirus:
1 – Gianna, 86, Northern Italy
after seven weeks of fighting the virus. She broke down in tears after being wheeled out of the hospital. Elia Delmiglio, the mayor of Casalpusterlengo, posted a video on Facebook with permission from Gianna’s family showing the emotional moment.
“She fought hard with all her strength in these weeks and, thanks to incredible work by doctors and nurses, managed to recover from COVID-19,” Delmiglio wrote on Facebook. “Among the many stories of pain and suffering, Gianna’s recovery gives us a great deal of hope.”
Gianna had been in two different hospitals throughout the seven weeks and originally contracted the virus while in the hospital. For most people, the virus presents with only mild symptoms such as a cough and slight fever. However, the virus can cause pneumonia and respiratory failure in older adults.
Italy became one of the hardest-hit countries due to its aging population, but luckily, the country’s cases have started to decline.
2 – Genea Wood, 90, Washington
In Kirkland, Washington, 90-year-old Geneva Wood. However, she first had numerous other battles with her health which makes her story even more remarkable.
Geneva had a stroke in December 2019 and got admitted to a hospital. A month later, she transferred to the Life Care Center of Kirkland to make a full recovery. She learned to walk and talk again with the help of her therapists. But sadly, she fell and broke her hip just days from her release date.
Geneva eventually arrived at Evergreen Medical Center, and the family asked if doctors could test Geneva for the virus after learning about an outbreak in the nursing home where she lived. She tested positive and got transferred to Harborview Medical Center.
Her condition began to deteriorate and doctors told her family to come and say goodbye. Her family could only see her through a glass window looking into her room at the hospital. However, doctors allowed Geneva’s daughter Neidigh into the room with full protective gear after seeing the grief on both their faces.
To the astonishment and joy of the family, Geneva started to improve little by little. Geneva gives all the credit to the potato soup, a family recipe, she asked the doctors to bring to her. Neidigh and Geneva’s other daughter got to hug their mom again after 12 days of her fighting the virus.
3 – 100-year-old, Wuhan
An unnamed 100-year-old Chinese man made a. At the time of his release from the hospital, he was the oldest known patient to overcome the respiratory illness. He had just turned 100 in January and got admitted to a hospital on February 24.
Doctors used a combination of antiviral medicine, ancient Chinese medicine and convalescent plasma therapy to treat the man. He and 80 other patients received clearance to leave the hospital about a month ago.
4 – Mr. P, 101, Italy
A couple of weeks ago, an Italian man by the name ‘Mr. P’ gotSo far, he’s been among the oldest to recover from the virus. Mr. P also lived through the deadly 1918 Spanish flu, estimated to have killed around 500 million people. According to a report by Italy’s National Institute of Health, almost 86% of deaths in the country were people over the age of 70. So, Mr. P’s story is nothing short of miraculous.
5 – William Lapschies, 104, Oregon
Last week, William celebrated his 104th birthday with chocolate cake and pizza. However, he wasn’t just celebrating a milestone birthday; he was rejoicing about
In early March, he and some other tenants of a state-run veterans home in Lebanon, Oregon started to feel sick. They tested positive for the virus, making them some of the first Oregon citizens to fall ill from COVID-19. Lapschies’ family feared the virus would take his life.
Doctors first thought he just had pneumonia, but on March 11, William tested positive for coronavirus. His condition went up and down like a rollercoaster over the course of a couple weeks, but after a few particularly rough days, he began to improve dramatically. His family had been able to watch him through a window in his room and call him so he could hear their voices.
Doctors finally cleared him of the virus after a few weeks, just in time to celebrate his 104th birthday. His family credits the health care workers in the veteran’s home for keeping the outbreak contained and for helping their grandfather recover.
They say he’s tough and never gave up on anything easily, and this attitude helped him beat coronavirus.