‘There is hope’: 90-year-old grandmother is recovering from COVID-19 after being in critical condition

In days like these, we need positive news more than ever. And this 90-year-old grandma’s story is sure to give you light and hope amid this dark period in humanity’s history.

Since January, Geneva Wood has been recovering from a stroke at The Life Care Center, a facility in Kirkland, Washington. By February, her health has significantly improved, that doctors planned to send her home on March 2. Before her release, however, the hospital went on lockdown because of the coronavirus outbreak.


On March 5, Geneva was transferred to Harborview Medical Center as she came down with a fever, causing her family to feel distraught. A day after, they received the devastating news – Geneva tested positive for COVID-19. Although they tried to stay positive, the clan thought that this was it for their matriarch. Aside from fear, they felt anger. After all that she had survived through, why did it have to be this virus that should take her? The thought of it all was unacceptable.

“For her to fight back from that stroke and to go through all that rehab … and it’s a stupid virus that is going to take her out, of all things, it was just shocking,” Cami Neidigh, Geneva’s daughter, told TODAY. “It was like I can’t believe this is the way she is going to go.”

Courtesy the family of Geneva Wood

Geneva’s health quickly deteriorated, and doctors provided comfort care. Each of her four children wore full protective gear to visit her one at a time. Being unable to hold their mother and be with her during her final hours was heartbreaking. But just when everybody feared that it was the end, Geneva gave them a wonderful surprise – she started improving.

“It was pretty surreal,” Kate Neidigh, who’s married to Geneva’s grandson, James, said. “She’s getting even better, and she’s making these requests. She said, ‘I need homemade potato soup,’ and is delegating things to family members.”

This week, Geneva had a nasal swab that tested negative for the virus. However, she’s still coughing. If she remains symptom-free for 72 hours, doctors will take a throat sample. If it tests negative, then Geneva would be sent home next week.

Courtesy the family of Geneva Wood

“She is absolutely tough as nails,” James told TODAY. “She is definitely the type of person who could make it through anything.”

When she first entered the facility, Geneva couldn’t use her right side. She couldn’t walk, talk, feed, and dress because of the stroke. But this strong woman didn’t let this disease beat her. Slowly, she regained much of her abilities, thanks to her bravery and the effort she put in to recover.

Courtesy the family of Geneva Wood

Now, Geneva is off oxygen and had been requesting her favorite meal daily – homemade potato soup. Even though confined in a facility, the grandmother kept her strength and feisty attitude.

“I’m told that she was seen waving her hands in the air yelling, ‘I ain’t dead yet! I am going to die of thirst before I die of this coronavirus,'” Kate wrote in her article for Seattle Refined. “I guess she really wanted a Sprite.”

Kate says that if “anyone is going to kick this virus’ ass,” it would be Geneva. She hopes that by sharing her story, other families going through the same thing would find hope and know that there is a silver lining to this unprecedented crisis.

Courtesy the family of Geneva Wood

With that attitude and a fantastic support system, we’re positive that Geneva will be home in the next few weeks!

To all the families of COVID-19 patients, know that you are in our thoughts and prayers. During these trying times, let’s try to find ways to help one another and be a light to our countrymen.