95-year-old WWII veteran beats coronavirus, shares a message of hope

A 95-year-old WWII veteran from Oregon has survived coronavirus. He talked about his experience on ABC News’ “Pandemic: What You Need to Know” and left everyone with a powerful message of hope.

William “Bill” Kelly lived through the Great Depression and served the South Pacific during World War II. Just when he thought he had overcome too much in life, he faced another immense challenge, which was being tested positive for COVID-19.

WWII veteran Bill Kelly with great-grandchildren
Facebook | Rose Ayers-Etherington

COVID-19 is a deadly, contagious virus that targets people of all ages. However, old people, especially those with underlying medical conditions, are the most susceptible to this virus.

At his age, Kelly has existing health conditions such as kidney disease, high blood pressure and a congenital heart condition. His family said that Bill doesn’t say anything when he’s not feeling well. This is why when he had a high fever, cough and body pain, they took him to the hospital right away.

WWII veteran Bill Kelly with his great-grandson
Facebook | Rose Ayers-Etherington

Kelly’s condition improved after a day in the hospital so he went back home the next day. Though he was already feeling better, his granddaughter’s husband, who works as a medical evaluation pilot, suggested that he should be tested for coronavirus.

As soon as the result came out and they found out he was positive, Kelly immediately succumbed to self-isolation. According to his granddaughter, Rose Etherington, Kelly is known as “tough as nails” and he was “kicking it in the butt” with plenty of rest and water as well as classic movies.

Kelly recovered fast with the help of his family who stayed right on him. They made his food and made sure their home was always clean and well-sanitized. As of the moment, Kelly is happy with his two great-grandchildren who keep him busy.

Only Isaac Etherington, Rose’s husband was tested for COVID-19 and luckily, his test came back negative. No one in their home developed any symptoms due to Kelly’s eagerness to self-isolate.

WWII veteran Bill Kelly
Facebook | Rose Ayers-Etherington

Apparently, the WWII veteran had strong mental resolve as he had been through tough times before. If he survived the war and the Great Depression, he knew that with positivity, he would get through this, too.

You know it’s just – it’s in our American blood. We’re that type of people. We take care of each other and we are not going to break down. We’re going to make it through every time. Every time,” said Kelly.

When asked about his impression of the younger generation, he said he believes that they can also survive tough battles like what they did during the war. He doesn’t have any problems with the kids today and he is sure they will take care of everyone.

WWII veteran Bill Kelly with his granddaughter and her husband
Facebook | Rose Ayers-Etherington Source: ABC News

Isaac Etherington also believes that positivity is one of the keys in surviving this battle. “I think this is the time when there’s a lot of negative, I think the best advice we have is to stay positive and keep your eyes on the good things that are happening,” he said.

“Stay positive, stay healthy, and yeah, keep your eyes on the sunny side, for sure.”

Watch the video to enjoy more of Kelly’s skilful storytelling: