104-year-old world war veteran recovers from coronavirus, celebrates birthday

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A 104-year-old World War II veteran living in Oregon has recovered from the novel coronavirus, making him what is believed to be the nation’s oldest survivor of the pandemic. 

William “Bill” Lapschies tested positive for the coronavirus March 5, KOIN reported.

He was one of the first residents at the Edward C. Allworth Veteran’s Home confirmed to have the virus. Since then, 15 residents tested positive and two others have died.

Lapschies was isolated in his room after showing symptoms. Staff members, wearing personal protective equipment, cared for him while he recovered.

Things seemed grim at one point.

“It seemed like he just made this wonderful recovery,” daughter Carolee Brown told KOIN. “We were like shocked that he was kind of sitting in his wheelchair waving at us through the window and we were like, ‘He’s gonna make it!’”

After meeting the requirements to be considered recovered, his family surprised him Wednesday for his birthday.

VIDEO: Army veteran reunites with French woman he fell in love with 75 years ago during world war II

“We celebrated his 101 and had over 200 people. So trying to keep our social distancing and do what Gov. (Kate) Brown has asked us to do. But we’re so thrilled he’s recovered from this and we just had to do something for him,” Brown told KOIN. “We hope that this will inspire some of the other people that are going through this. And we’re really excited and looking forward to 105.”

How does Lapschies feel?

“Pretty good. I made it,” he told KOIN. “Good for a few more.”


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