Facebook | Sunrise Senior Living

107-Year-Old Woman Who Survived 1918 Flu Pandemic Also Beats COVID-19

An elderly New Jersey woman who beat the 1918 flu pandemic has also just successfully recovered from the deadly novel coronavirus, all while just one month shy of her 108th birthday.

As USA Today reported, 107-year-old Anna Del Priore of Asbury Park was recently declared virus-free and has since returned to enjoying some of her favorite past times, including swimming, dancing, and sewing.

This incredible centenarian was born in Brooklyn in 1912, just four years before the devastating flu pandemic of 1918 began.

At around 6 years old, Anna contracted the deadly flu, which, much like COVID-19, attacked the respiratory system.

The 1918 pandemic is estimated to have wiped out around 20 million to 50 million people all across the globe.

Despite being in one of the age groups featuring the highest mortality rate, Anna managed to survive the pandemic.

She later went on to become a seamstress, and married her late husband, Frank, who was a professional tango dancer, a passion he and Anna both shared.

“She always danced, always loved music,” the couple's granddaughter, Darlene Jasmine, told USA Today of her grandmother. “As soon as she hears music, her foot starts tapping.”

This past May, more than a century after successfully battling the deadly flu pandemic, Anna tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

Unsplash | Fusion Medical Animation

Naturally, considering her accelerated age, her family feared the worst and believed their beloved matriarch wouldn't be strong enough to fight off the disease.

“I thought, ‘Oh my God, this is it,’” Darlene recalled of hearing the terrifying news. “'This is the thing that’s going to take her down'.”

Although Anna had a fever and lost her appetite, her granddaughter revealed that she wasn't placed on a respirator and was never sent to the hospital.

Unsplash | Markus Spiske

The centenarian has since been declared virus-free and has happily resumed her favorite activities, much to the genuine surprise of staff at her assisted living facility, Brighton Gardens.

“People don’t believe me,” Laura Halle, Anna’s health care coordinator, told USA Today. “It’s really been amazing to watch her journey.”

Even her own granddaughter called her recovery a "miracle", though suspects Anna's active lifestyle, and perhaps even her experience with the 1918 pandemic, had something to do with it.

Facebook | Sunrise Senior Living

“She’s constantly moving,” Jasmine said. “We always walked in Brooklyn – to the grocery store, to the bakery. Every night she would make a homemade meal from scratch. All Mediterranean food – olive oil, vegetables, fruits, nuts. It’s like the old peasant food that now they charge you so much for.”

Incredibly, Anna's younger sister, 105-year-old Helen Guzzone, also survived both pandemics.

Anna and Helen are now both among the select few people over the age of 100 who have beaten the coronavirus.

Facebook | Sunrise Senior Living

The oldest survivor from around the world appears to be a 113-year-old woman from Spain.

As for Anna, she is happy to be back to her regular routine and has absolutely no plans of slowing down just yet as she approaches her 108th birthday.

“I feel good. I thank God I’m alive," she said, adding, "You keep living. Dancing makes you feel good. I want to keep my health.”

h/t: USA Today, Photos: Facebook | Sunrise Senior Living

Filed Under: