90-year-old great-great-grandmother recovers after almost dying from coronavirus

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SEATTLE (Gray News) - As COVID-19 spreads across the country, health officials warn the elderly are at particular risk from the disease. However, a 90-year-old woman from Washington has beaten the odds and seemingly recovered.

A worker at the Life Care Center in Kirkland, Wash., near Seattle, wears a mask as she leaves the building, Monday, March 2, 2020. (Source: AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Geneva Wood, 90, came down with a fever in February while recovering from a stroke at the Life Care Center in Kirkland, Washington, according to Kate Neidigh, Wood’s granddaughter-in-law, as written for Seattle Refined.

With the nursing home at the center of the state COVID-19 outbreak, Wood’s family immediately panicked. Kate Neidigh says their worst fears were realized when Wood tested positive for the novel coronavirus on March 6.

But Wood, described as a “bat out of hell” by her family, wasn’t going to give up. While in isolation, she told her daughter Cami Neidigh through a glass pane she would fight the disease.

"She has always been a survivor and very determined," Cami Neidigh told her daughter-in-law.

Just weeks earlier, Wood had beaten the odds and regained the ability to walk, talk and use her right arm after her stroke.

However, the 90-year-old soon took a turn for the worse. Her lungs were filling up with fluid, Cami Neidigh told KING. Wood’s four living children were called to the hospital to say goodbye, as doctors believed she would die any day.

"It was a gift and, at the same time, cruel,” Cami Neidigh told Seattle Refined. “We could touch her hand, rub her arm through the gloves, no hugging… She wanted to tell each of us goodbye, tell us how proud she was of us."

But after she said her goodbyes, Wood’s symptoms began to improve. She tested negative for COVID-19 on March 17, according to the Kirkland Reporter. She is now fully off an oxygen tank, and her only remaining symptoms are a stuffy nose and some coughing.

“When she had that major stroke, we thought we were going to lose her. She’s come close to death and she rallies back, and that’s my mom,” Cami Neidigh told Seattle Refined.

The family wanted to share Wood’s story to “give people some hope.”

“Getting this virus is not necessarily a death sentence for the elderly or anybody," Cami Neidigh said. "Be more afraid of spreading it.”

Doctors told the Kirkland Reporter that Wood needs to be asymptomatic for 72 hours before she can be cleared and discharged. Her family is also awaiting the results of another COVID-19 test.

The Life Care Center remains the deadliest single spot in the nation’s coronavirus crisis with 35 deaths, the Associated Press reports. Federal investigators believe a contributing factor was low-pay workers who came to work with the illness and potentially even spread it to other nearby facilities where they took shifts.

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