A 102-year-old New York woman, who lived to witness two pandemics in her lifetime, survived two bouts of coronavirus and is in the pink of her health now, according to reports. Moreover, Angelina Friedman, a Westchester County nursing home resident, is also a cancer survivor, according to her daughter Joanne Merola.
Friedman contracted Covid-19 in March and then in October but was fit and fine within weeks. Her daughter said that it's her mother's "iron will" to live that helped her fight the virus like a brave heart. Friedman had also survived the 1918 influenza pandemic that killed 650,000 people in the United States, said her daughter.
Friedman has lost most of her hearing and her vision is bad, primarily due to old age but her "iron will" to live has kept her going amid all odds. "She's not the oldest to survive COVID, but she may be the oldest to survive it twice," Joanne Merola told WPIX TV.
She beat the coronavirus earlier this year after she was infected in March, when she was taken to the hospital for a minor medical procedure. She was still 101 years old then. She spent a week in the hospital before being sent back to her room at the nursing home, where she quarantined.
She finally tested negative for the virus on April 20 after running a fever on and off for several weeks. Six months later, Friedman was diagnosed with Covid-19 again after experiencing symptoms such as fever and a dry cough. She once again went into isolation till November 17 and once again tested negative, her daughter told.
That definitely is a rare incident given that the elderly are most vulnerable to the virus. However, Friedman has been a fighter ever since her birth and has survived several ailments and diseases throughout her life.
A Lifelong Fighter
Friedman was born Angenila Sciales during the 1918 pandemic on a passenger ship that was taking immigrants from Italy to New York City. She was born on October 18, 1918. Angelina's mother died giving birth on the ship.
She was taken care of by her two sisters as her father wasn't on that ship. When Friedman's father reunited with his daughters in New York, he took them to live in Brooklyn. "She was one of 11 children," Merola told the media outlet. "She's the last one surviving."
Later, she married Harold Friedman but life had to take more tests from her. The couple later was diagnosed with cancer. However, this time too only she survived the disease. Since then she is cancer free and has been overcoming one obstacle after another just with her willpower.