104-Year-Old World War II Veteran Recovers From Coronavirus

CBS News reported that a “resilient” 104-year-old man who lived through the Spanish Flu, the Great Depression & World War II, recovered from the coronavirus. William “Bill” Lapschies contracted the virus at the Edward C. Allworth Veterans’ Home in Oregon, CBS affiliate KOIN reports.

He first started showing symptoms on March 5 and was immediately isolated in his room, but as of this week, he is considered recovered from COVID-19.

His family stated that Lapschies recovered just in time for his birthday. On Wednesday, his family surprised him at the veterans’ home for a unique celebration. Since visitors are not allowed inside at this time, they had a social-distancing party outside.

This isn’t exactly how his family wanted to celebrate, his daughter Carolee Brown said. “We celebrated his 101 and had over 200 people,” she said. “But we’re so thrilled he’s recovered from this and we just had to do something for him.”

His daughter also said her father was “very, very sick,” and the doctors said he might not make it. His son-in-law, Jim Brown, called him “pretty resilient,” noting that Lapschies lived through the Spanish Flu, the Great Depression, and a couple of major recessions.

Lapschies was stationed in the Aleutian Islands during World War II, his family said. Now, his family thinks he must be one of the oldest people to recover from virus.

“His smile, I wish you could have seen it, that mask covers it but his smile is absolutely contagious,” one of his six great-grandchildren, Jamie Yutzie said. Lapschies also has two grandchildren and five great-great grandchildren, who can’t wait to hug him again.

They are also hoping to take him out for a drive so he can see the river and the mountains again.

The family thanked the staff at the veteran’s home, where 15 residents have tested positive for the virus, and two have already passed away.

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