Mildred Geraldine “Gerri” Schappals is one of a few people in the world to have survived both viral pandemics. Ms Schappals, 102, also lived through two bouts of cancer. She gave an interview through her daughter Julia Schappals, 68, about how she beat COVID-19 at a vulnerable age.
In May, Ms Schappals tested positive for coronavirus after suffering a spiking fever.
Her daughter said she was worried that Ms Schappals wouldn’t be able to recover from COVID-19.
She added: “I figured this is probably a little much for somebody who is 102, and that this is probably going to take her.”
But when the diagnosis was returned, she was already feeling better and her way to recovery.
Coronavirus news: Gerri Schappals lived through COVID-19 and Spanish flu
Ms Schappals attributed her coronavirus recovery to her early bout with the 1918 flu
Ms Schappals frequently jokes that she gets overlooked by “the Grim Reaper” due to her experiences with cancer and the 1918 flu.
But she claimed it most likely a strong immune system stemming from those experiences that helped her beat COVID-19.
Ms Schappals also avoids excessive worry, and joked her love of red wine has kept her alive.
Her daughter also added that Ms Schappals often said: “Jesus did not change water into wine so that I could look at it.”
Ms Schappals was born in 1918, and when she was eleven-months-old she and her family were infected with the deadly flu.
The Centres of Disease Control and Infection claim that the 1918 flu killed 675,000 Americans.
But despite being unable to move from the virus, Ms Schappals made a complete recovery.
She added: “Lo and behold, my mother pulled through, and so did her mother and brother.”
When asked whether the 1918 flu helped her beat other diseases, Ms Schappals agreed.
She said: “I really think that having the 1918 flu strengthened everything about me.
“I never had colds or illnesses until I got cancer, and even then I pulled through.
“It’s either that or Mother Nature thinks I died in 1918, so she ignores me.”
Ms Schappals is a resident of the Huntington care home at Nashua, New Hampshire.
Lisa Valcourt, executive director at the Huntington, said Ms Schappals is a resilient and strong woman.
Ms Valcourt said: “She’s been through so much in her lifetime.
“When you look at everything that she’s been through and her positive attitude that she’s maintained, it makes all of us want to be stronger.”
Source Daily Express :: World Feed