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A 103-year old’s Story of Persevering through COVID-19

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By Emiko Perea

A hundred and three-year-old woman, Ada Zanusso, beat the odds and recovered from coronavirus in Italy. Italy has the largest population of people over a hundred years of age in Europe, a large contributing factor to their status as one of the leading countries in coronavirus deaths. She shares her inspiring story in the excerpt below on how she was able to persevere through her illness.

From Paolo Santalucia’s 103-year-old Italian says 'courage, faith' helped beat virus from AOL.com

Her doctor said Zanusso was in bed for a week.

“We hydrated her because she wasn’t eating, and then we thought she wasn’t going to make it because she was always drowsy and not reacting,” Furno Marchese said.

“One day she opened her eyes again and resumed doing what she used to before,” Furno Marchese said. The doctor recalled when Zanusso was able to sit up, then managed to get out of bed.

What helped her get through the illness? “Courage and strength, faith," Zanusso said. It worked for her, so she advises others who fall ill to also “give yourself courage, have faith.”

COVID-19 can cause mild or moderate symptoms and most of those who are infected recover. But the elderly and those with existing health problems can be at high risk for more serious illness.

The virus has killed nearly 18,000 people in Italy and over 88,000 worldwide. The World Health Organization says 95% of those who have died in Europe were over 60 years old.

Under Italy’s five-week-long lockdown, which is aimed at containing the spread of infections that have overwhelmed hospitals, visitors aren’t allowed at homes for the elderly.

Her doctor asked Zanusso what she would like to do when “they open the doors.”

“I’d like to take a lovely walk,” she replied. And your three great-grandchildren? “Watch them play together.”