Oregon veteran, 95, beats coronavirus: ‘I survived Guam, I can get through this bulls–t’
A 95-year-old World War II vet living in Oregon has beaten COVID-19, according to a report.
Bill Kelly, of McMinnville, finished his recovery Monday at the home he shares with four relatives after being diagnosed with the coronavirus on March 17, The Oregonian reports.
“Grandpa Bill’s pretty hardcore,” his granddaughter, Rose Ayers-Etherington, 41, told the newspaper.
Kelly, who lived through the Great Depression and was among the first US soldiers to set foot in the South Pacific during WWII, started feeling unwell with a low-grade fever on March 15, the newspaper reports.
Due to several underlying medical conditions, including kidney disease, a congenital heart condition, and high blood pressure, Kelly went to a hospital and was kept overnight, Ayers-Etherington said.
Kelly returned home the following day after his condition improved, but his granddaughter’s husband — who works a medical evacuation pilot — had recently transported patients who were potentially exposed to COVID-19.
That led doctors to test Kelly for the virus out of an abundance of caution despite his mild symptoms, his granddaughter said.
Ayers-Etherington’s husband, Isaac, is the only other person who has been tested for COVID-19 in the home they share with her grandfather, her mother, husband, and their two children — aged 5 and 11 months. Her husband’s test came back negative, the newspaper reports.
No one in the home developed any symptoms as Kelly spent the first week in isolation in a bedroom. Relatives disinfected any surface he touched and did their best to steer entirely clear of him when he left the bedroom while wearing a mask, relatives said.
“But it was still nerve-wracking,” Ayers-Etherington said. “We were just drinking hot tea all the time. Taking zinc. Washing our hands constantly.”
Isaac Etherington, 42, said they treated Kelly “like a leper” during his first seven days of isolation.
But Kelly — who is known to be “tough as nails,” according to his granddaughter — bunkered down with plenty of classic movies and copious amounts of water and rest.
“We’re going just fine here,” Kelly told the newspaper. “We’re toughing it out. I’ve got two great-grandsons to keep me busy. I’ve been very fortunate.”
In a Facebook post earlier this month, Ayers-Etherington revealed her grandfather’s diagnosis but added he was “kicking it in the butt” despite a litany of preexisting medical conditions.
“In his words, ‘I survived the foxholes of Guam, I can get through this [coronavirus] bull—-,’” she wrote. “He has strong mental resolve. He has seen tough times and knows how to get through them.”
Ayers-Etherington said she was no way downplaying the “seriousness” of COVID-19.
“It’s real and it’s here and it needs to be respected,” she wrote.
“Jut hoping grandpa Bill’s story will encourage you and out a smile on your face. Also, the rest of us are healthy.”
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