Angelina Friedman is a 102-year-old New York woman who not only beaten coronavirus, TWICE but also lived through the 1918 flu pandemic and survived cancer, according to her daughter.
The first time Friedman was diagnosed with Covid-19 was last March after she was transferred from a nursing home in Lake Mohegan, where she’s a resident, to the hospital for a minor leg procedure.
Her daughter, Joanne Merola, said that the diagnosis was a shock as her mother wasn’t sick.
“She was never really symptomatic the first time around. The worst symptom she had was a fever that lasted maybe 10 days,” Merola said in a phone interview.
Friedman spent a week in the hospital before she returned to North Westchester Restorative Therapy and Nursing Center to recover. And while she tested negative for the virus back in April, her daughter said, in October, just before Friedman’s 102nd birthday — she was diagnosed with the virus again.
But this time, Merola said her mother got really sick.
“She had a cough, she was lethargic, she had a fever again,” Merola said. “The first time you wouldn’t know she was sick.”
Friedman was put into isolation at the nursing home and received treatment. And thankfully, she was able to return to her room after receiving two negative test results.
Merola said her mother is happy and healthy and that during one of their last phone calls she talked for 30 minutes about crocheting.
She said she hopes her mother’s story gives people hope.
Friedman was born in October 1918, during the Spanish flu pandemic, on a passenger ship bringing immigrants from Italy to New York City. Her mother died during childbirth.
Friedman, who is nearly deaf and has lost most of her vision, has outlived her 10 siblings and her husband.
“My mom has been through so much in her life,” Merola said, offering some advice: “You just can’t give up. You have to fight. My mother’s got the will to stay alive as I’ve never seen before.”
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.
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