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Second World War Veteran Celebrates 104th Birthday After Overcoming Coronavirus

Second World War Veteran Celebrates 104th Birthday After Overcoming Coronavirus

A Second World War veteran has celebrated his 104th birthday after overcoming coronavirus.

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.

Bill may be the oldest person to have survived coronavirus. Credit: KOIN 6
Bill may be the oldest person to have survived coronavirus. Credit: KOIN 6

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.

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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."

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Indeed, two people at the home have died after contracting the virus.


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.

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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.

Featured Image Credit: KOIN 6

Topics: Inspirational, Coronavirus, US News

Jake Massey

Jake Massey is a journalist at LADbible. He graduated from Newcastle University, where he learnt a bit about media and a lot about living without heating. After spending a few years in Australia and New Zealand, Jake secured a role at an obscure radio station in Norwich, inadvertently becoming a real-life Alan Partridge in the process. From there, Jake became a reporter at the Eastern Daily Press. Jake enjoys playing football, listening to music and writing about himself in the third person.