To say that this grandfather has been through a lot in his long life is an understatement. At 107 years old, Rudolph ‘Rudi’ Heider of Chesterfield, Missouri, has lived through the Spanish Flu, the Great Depression, the Second World War, and most recently, the coronavirus.
After weeks of battling the deadly virus while quarantined at a nursing home, Rudi’s family finally received the delightful news that their grandfather beat COVID-19. He is now free to come out of isolation after reaching the two-week mark of showing no symptoms.
Rudi’s grandson Matthew Heider said he and his wife Janet – who recently welcomed a grandchild of their own – had been praying for his recovery knowing that the odds of him surviving were very low. According to experts, the elderly population is more prone to suffering from severe complications from the virus due to their weakened immune systems.
As Janet recalled getting the call that Rudi was sick from the coronavirus, she couldn’t help but get emotional.
“He was fighting fevers, I think he was at 102° and he had said he wanted to die…. I cried,” Janet said in an interview with 11Alive.
“We were the ones that had to be at peace with whatever decision God made,” she wrote in a Facebook post detailing Rudi’s health situation.
But just as he beat the Spanish Flu and lived through the most challenging periods in history, Rudi mightily defeated COVID-19 just in time for his 107th birthday on April 29!
When asked about what his grandfather’s secret to his miraculous recovery, Matthew said, “I think a lot of it is definitely having a positive attitude and his mind is so active.”
The couple called him on Tuesday to wish him a happy birthday. Rudi, in turn, thanked them for their support.
“I love you very much,” he said. “Thank you, everyone, for all the help you’ve given me.”
His family shared the great great grandfather’s powerful story in hopes that it will encourage others to keep fighting even when it seems like the odds aren’t in their favor. Rudi regaining his health is the perfect testament to the power of prayer and hope. At 107 years old, he is believed to be one of the oldest people in the world to beat coronavirus.
At least three other centenarians have been reported to defeat COVID-19. Earlier this month, 101-year-old Angelina Friedman of Westchester, New York, made headlines after beating the virus. She also survived the Spanish Flu and overcame cancer.
In Birmingham, England, 106-year-old Connie Titchen received a standing ovation from medical staff as she was discharged from a hospital three weeks after she tested positive for the virus.
In Biella, Italy, 104-year-old Ada Zanusso recovered after contracting the virus while at a nursing home.
Stories like this bring strength to many people amid these challenging times. What we can all learn from their stories is that we should always hold on to hope and never run out of it. Though we can’t see the light at the end of this tunnel just yet, we should look at the bright side and continue hoping for a better tomorrow.
As we wait for the world’s brilliant scientists to discover a cure for this virus, let’s stay in our homes and cooperate with the mandate of the authorities. Let’s take social distancing protocols seriously and wear masks when going outside so we can protect ourselves and at the same time, prevent the spread of the virus.
We have to keep in mind that there are people like Rudi and immunocompromised individuals in our midst who we need to protect the most.
Watch the video below to learn more about this invincible fighter’s inspiring story.