SENIORS RECOVER FROM CORONAVIRUS
It is well known that the severity of outcomes from the novel coronavirus is correlated with age. Older people are more likely to be hospitalized or to die than are younger people. Some estimate that 30% of infected patients over the age of 80 succumb to the disease. In Italy, approximately 83% of COVID-19 deaths have been among people age 70 or older. Reports from nursing homes around the world have been particularly disheartening.
However, since the start of the pandemic reports have been trending in international news about elderly people who have survived their battles with COVID-19. The stories are unfailingly uplifting and heartwarming, and they demonstrate the immense strength of spirit these senior citizens possess.
Villanueva de la Torre, Spain
José and Guadalupe Cerrudo met 70 years ago at a festival in Salamanca. The story of their encounter involves José getting tossed by a mule while attempting to impress Guadalupe. Five years later, they married. And, on Friday, the 88-year-olds were both discharged from Red Cross Hospital in Madrid. José was admitted to the hospital on March 14 with a severe case of COVID-19. Guadalupe joined him a few days later for the same reason. They are now recovering at home.
The happy couple’s seven – count ’em – seven daughters were overjoyed with the news. The were especially concerned for their father, who suffered a stroke in 2012. Today there is no doubt of José and Guadalupe’s durability. They survived the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s, the repressive 35-year dictatorship of Francisco Franco, and, now, the coronavirus.
On April 11, doctors cheered as 93-year-old Alye Gunduz was discharged from Cerrahpasa Medical Faculty Hospital in Istanbul. She was admitted to the ICU on March 31 after experiencing a high fever and stomach ache. Gunduz, a farmer from southeastern Turkey, stated, “I wish a speedy recovery to everyone.”
CNN reports that a 101-year-old man identified only as “Mr. P” was released from an Italian hospital on March 26. Gloria Lisi, deputy mayor of Rimini, announced the good news. “Mr. P. made it. The family brought him home yesterday evening to teach us that even at 101 years the future is not written,” she stated. Rimini is a coastal city in the hard-hit region of Emilia-Romagna in the northeast of Italy. To date, the region has recorded nearly 2,500 COVID-19 deaths.
Lebanon, Oregon, USA
By March 16 of this year, 13 residents of the Edward C. Allworth Veterans’ Home were diagnosed with COVID-19. World War II veteran Bill Lapschies began showing symptoms on March 5. His condition deteriorated for weeks, and family members and doctors did not expect him to survive. However, KOIN Oregon reports that by the end of March Lapschies had recovered from the disease. And on April 1, family and friends gathered outside of his care facility to help him celebrate his 104th birthday. Lapschies, who lived through the Spanish Flu era (1918-1920), is regarded as the oldest person to have survived a COVID-19 infection. And, says the centenarian, he is “good for a few more.”
A 100-year-old man was discharged from Hubei Maternity and Child Health Care Hospital on March 10. He had been in the facility suffering from COVID-19 since February 24. The sturdy senior survived the deadly disease despite already struggling with Alzheimer’s disease, hypertension and heart disease.
A 93-year-old man and his 88-year-old wife both recovered from bouts with coronavirus after three weeks in the ICU, the BBC reports. The couple were infected by their daughter and son-in-law who contracted the disease in Italy. The man was placed on a ventilator for 24 hours before recovering. The staff at Kottayam Medical College Hospital affectionately referred to the couple as “mother and father.”