“I thought, ‘Oh my God, this is it.’ This is the thing that will make him die,” recalled Jasmine.
But that concern did not occur. Anna Del Priore – who is one month earlier than the age of 108, was born the year the Titanic sank and survived a case of the Spanish Flu a century ago – beating the coronavirus. Not only that, she still stands, walks, and even dances – to the delight of the staff at Brighton Gardens, a nursing home in New Jersey.
“People don’t believe me,” said Laura Halle, who is Del Priore’s health care coordinator at Brighton Gardens. “It’s amazing to see the journey.” he said as written by Asbury Park Press, Tuesday (11/8)
Del Priore was born in Brooklyn to deaf parents who teach sign language. She was a tailor and her late husband, Frank, was a professional tango dancer.
“He was always dancing, always like music. As soon as he heard music, his legs started tapping,” said Jasmine (66).
At about 6 years of age, Anna contracted the Spanish Flu during the 1918 influenza pandemic, said the administrator of the Brighton Gardens. Like Covid-19, Spanish Flu attacks the respiratory system, albeit at a much more lethal rate.
“Maybe it has something to do with his recovery?” said Jasmine, noting that Anna’s younger sister, Helen Guzzone of Queens, 105, New York, also survived both illnesses.
After Anna fell ill with Covid-19, Jasmine said, “She has a fever, doesn’t eat much, but she doesn’t need a breathing apparatus. They don’t have to send her to the hospital.”
Now Del Priore is back to his normal activities, including swimming and sewing.
“I feel good,” he said. Thank goodness I’m still alive.
Jasmine calls it a “miracle” but adds that life-long healthy choices might help.
“He’s on the move,” said Jasmine. “We always walk in Brooklyn – to the grocery store, to the bakery. Every night she makes homemade food from scratch. All Mediterranean food – olive oil, vegetables, fruit, nuts. It’s like the old farmer’s food now. they charge very dearly. ”
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After experiencing Covid-19, Del Priore does not plan to slow down.
“You’re still alive,” he said. “Dancing makes you feel good. I want to take care of my health.”
According to a gerontology website that tracks such things, two 108-year-old Americans are confirmed to have survived the coronavirus and seven other Americans who are 107 or older have done so. Worldwide, the oldest person to beat the disease is a 113-year-old woman in Spain.
“She’s a month less than 108 and she’s up, combing her hair, walking and dancing,” said Halle, her health care coordinator. “For the rest of my life I will be able to say that I met and loved someone who has made it this far and has remained healthy.”