I don’t mean to sound like the bearer of bad news all the time, but most of what we hear in the local and national media is gloom and doom, in terms of the coronavirus.
Contracting COVID-19 does not automatically mean a death sentence, though. There are many success stories of seniors who survive this life-threatening virus, about which there are still so many unknowns.
A special story on CBS This Morning clearly demonstrates the significant role of hope and support during COVID-19 recovery.
- A 64-year-old New York grandfather and retired assistant principal recovers after 128 days in a Manhattan hospital and 51 days on a ventilator. “Miracle Larry” Kelly cried tears of joy after being discharged from the hospital. Through his tears, Larry said, “It’s overwhelming. My wife, she saved my life. She wouldn’t let them pull the plug. Thank you, Honey.” His declaration to fight before being intubated also played a role in his recovery. Dr Tara Narula explained that in as much as science, medicine and medical teams play substantial roles in a patient’s recovery, hope and support are two things that must be recognized, as well. “Never take away hope from a patient, and this family never took away hope from Larry,” Dr Narula said.
Moreover, Interesting Engineering published an article in July that shares the stories of more than 17 of the oldest people around the world who have beaten the coronavirus. In my effort to provide hope and support for seniors suffering from COVID-19, I’d like to share a few of these survival success stories.
- A 79-year-old man in Italy recovered from coronavirus after an experimental drug application. Remdesivir, a drug used to treat Ebola, has widely been used experimentally on COVID patients. “Perhaps one of the most impressive cases to have been cured by the drug is that of a 79-year-old Italian man who had tested positive and was given the all-clear after taking the drug,” IE reported.
- A 90-year-old Seattle woman survived the coronavirus outbreak at Life Care Center, where 62% of 130 elderly patients tested positive and a quarter died. The article said, “Geneva Wood, the 90-year-old resident who survived, shows that, despite the fact that health officials say the elderly are more vulnerable, people of any age can recover from COVID-19. Even more impressively, Wood was recovering from a stroke when she was diagnosed with the disease.”
- A 94-year-old ex-nurse in the United Kingdom recovered. Joy, a great-grandmother and retired nurse. Joy said “she was ‘absolutely overjoyed’ and was impressed at the hospital for ‘helping so many people.’ As in many countries worldwide, the UK is currently working hard to provide enough intensive care beds for the surge of patients it is seeing,” the article stated.
- A 95-year Italian grandmother recovers in midst of national COVID crisis. As Italy’s coronavirus stats kept mounting, “Alma Clara Corsini was likely the oldest woman in Italy to recover from the coronavirus at the time of discharge. As Gazzetta Di Modena reports, Corsinig recovered without antiviral therapy, the coronavirus treatment used in the majority of cases worldwide, as she showed few symptoms.”
- A 95-year-old war veteran beats the odds and the disease. William Kelly, a 95-year-old veteran of WWII, who also lived through the Great Depression, said, “The biggest support in his fight, in which he faced some tough moments, was his family: ‘I had two or three pretty tough nights and evenings where I had problems with my lower [body], my legs, and my back — difficulty getting rest — because it was very uncomfortable trying to sleep. Other than that, though, you work your way through it. Do as you're told. And I got some good help here,’ Kelly told ABC News.”
- A 101-year-old Wuhan patient recovered in one week. “Ward matron Li Lai said that Mr. Dai was worried about his wife, 92, who was alone at home. As Li Lai explained, the pensioner had focused on getting ‘better soon so he could go home and take care of her.’”
- A US Army veteran celebrates his 104th birthday after recovering from COVID-19. “American World War II veteran, Bill Lapschies, celebrated his 104th birthday with a social distancing party… after making a full recovery from COVID-19. The centenarian said of his recovery, ‘I don’t know, it just went away. Sit out here and you can get rid of anything.’ The doctor in charge of Lapschies recovery added that the war veteran didn't need to be hospitalized due to his long-term care at the veteran's home.”
Seniors are still the most vulnerable to contract coronavirus, but hopefully, by following the most current recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, they will stay safe and healthy.
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CBS This Morning