Have you celebrated anything recently? We know that’s hard to do nowadays because of what the world is going through. But this grandma from Indiana just celebrated her 100th birthday, and has another reason to rejoice – she just survived the coronavirus!
This grandmother is tenacious; she has lived through a war, survived cancer, and battled against a serious case of pneumonia last year. Now, she’s a coronavirus survivor as well. Despite all these health problems, Leora remains strong and positive.
She was one of the 76 residents in her assisted living facility to test positive for the virus. On June 13, exactly a week before her birthday on June 20, she found out that she finally tested negative for COVID-19 after being first diagnosed in April.
“It was sort of a relief,” Leora told The Elkhart Truth. “You have to remember, I’ve been through cancer. I had to go to the hospital for five days with rods in my body — that was not comfortable, but I survived. They didn’t think I would survive pneumonia last year either, but I did.”
Leora celebrated her birthday with her twin sister, Delora Bloomingdale, who lives in California. Greenleaf Health Corporation, the senior living facility where Leora lives, said the siblings chatted with each other via Zoom. The two centenarians also sang each other a happy birthday, and Leora received a visit from her daughter, which made the day extra special.
The nursing home shared a few photos of Leora’s birthday celebration on their Facebook page. In one of the pictures, Leora proudly held up a sign that read, “COVID-19 can’t stop me from turning 100!”
Marilou Snell, Leora’s daughter, told the Associated Press that her mother was mostly symptom-free throughout her battle with the coronavirus. However, she experienced appetite loss and exhaustion. Still, the family felt extremely worried when they learned of the diagnosis. The facility was also on lockdown at the time, so she couldn’t visit her mother even if she wanted to.
“We were all pretty devastated when we found out she tested positive,” she said. “You read and hear all these terrible things and of course right away you fear the worst, so it was really hard.”
She added that her family’s religious faith gave them comfort during this tough time. Knowing that their matriarch was in good hands also helped ease their fears.
“It was a really tough time, but the staff at Greenleaf were wonderful,” Marilou added. “They updated us with phone calls, text messages with what was going on. It was just very comforting to know that she had health care people around her 24/7. Also, just giving it over to God helped a lot too. He calmed us and said it was in his hands and he took care of it.”
The facility also had a great reason why they celebrated the occasion, as they officially declared the home coronavirus-free on June 19.
As for the secret to her long life, Leora has this to say: “Keep moving. Also, keep loving other people.”
Another centenarian who celebrated beating the coronavirus is 101-year old Angelina Friedman from Lake Mohegan, New York. Angelina’s daughter says she has “superhuman DNA” because she has triumphed through many challenges in her life. The tough grandma escaped the 1918 Spanish Flu, survived cancer, internal bleeding, sepsis, and miscarriages throughout her extraordinary life.
Angelina, who is now a resident of North Westchester Restorative Therapy and Nursing Center, was taken to the hospital for a minor procedure. However, it was found that she was positive for the novel coronavirus.
After experiencing recurring fevers for several weeks, she finally tested negative for the virus on April 20! Four days later, they celebrated the awesome news and the facility shared a photo of the recovered patient holding a piece of paper bearing the words, “I am 101 years old and I beat COVID-19”.
Let’s hear it for these fierce centenarians for beating the coronavirus!