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Its been just over 25 days since Bill Lapschies first presented symptoms of Covid-19 and 19 days since he last had a fever, meaning he may well be the oldest person to have survived the disease.
He was wheeled out of Edward C. Allworth Veterans' Home in Lebanon, Oregon, USA, to celebrate his birthday yesterday (1 April), with socially distanced friends and family coming to visit bearing gifts, plaques and balloons.
When asked by granddaughter Jamie Yutzi how he had survived the virus - which has claimed almost 50,000 lives - he said: "I don't know. It just went away. Sit out here and you can get rid of anything."
Asked how it felt to be 104, he replied: "Pretty good. I made it."
Dr Rob Richardson, who oversees care at the home, said Bill had a moderate case of the virus and didn't develop any respiratory issues. However, he said he probably would have been hospitalised if he wasn't at the home.
According to Oregon Public Broadcasting, he said: "This could have easily gone another way. There's not a lot of interventions that can be done."
Indeed, two people at the home have died after contracting the virus.
Sending happy birthday wishes to Bill on his 104th birthday! He's one of Oregon's honored veterans and has just recovered from COVID-19.
You can wish him a happy birthday, and brighten the day of other residents at the Lebanon veterans home. Learn more: https://t.co/NZL2vrrvE9 pic.twitter.com/W3q44FSugr
- Governor Kate Brown (@OregonGovBrown) April 1, 2020
Bill was born in Oregon in 1916 and has survived the Spanish flu pandemic, The Great Depression and his time in the US Army during the Second World War.
He had two daughters with his wife of 60 years Alamadean, who died in 2001.
But while Covid-19 has been particularly dangerous to the elderly, Bill is not the first senior citizen to beat it.
Last month, a 95-year-old grandmother became the oldest person in Italy to overcome Covid-19. Alma Clara Corsini, from Fanano in Modena, was admitted to a hospital in Pavullo on 5 March but she made a full recovery within a couple of weeks.
It's okay to not panic. LADbible and UNILAD's aim with our series, Cutting Through, is to provide our community with facts and stories from the people who are either qualified to comment or have experienced first-hand the situation we're facing. For more information from the World Health Organisation on coronavirus, click here.
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