Oregon Veteran Beats COVID-19, Celebrates 104th Birthday


Oregon Veteran Beats COVID-19, Celebrates 104th Birthday

In a positive turn of events, a World War II veteran survived and recovered from COVID-19. Bill Lapschies tested positive for the illness along with other patients. Sadly, two of them died as per the Oregan Department of Veteran Affairs. 

Lapschies was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1943 and served in the Aleutian Islands. Lapschies is one of the oldest patients to recover from novel coronavirus.

Family members celebrated his birthday following social distancing norms outside the veteran’s home.

Watch Bill celebrate his birthday. 

At least 5,137 people have died from COVID-19 in the United States as of Wednesday afternoon, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Find Out If You Qualify For VA Loan in this pandemic

Lapschies started showing symptoms on March 5th and was kept into isolation in his room. Care Staff, while tending to him followed WHO guidelines and used personal protective equipment, including gloves, gowns, face masks, and plastic face shields. A VA spokesperson confirmed that Bill met the guidelines issued by the Oregon Health Authority and the CDC and has entirely recovered from COVID-19.

Visitors are not permitted inside the facility, per state restrictions issued in March. So Wednesday, Lapschies’ family gave him a surprise outside his veterans’ home, practicing social distancing.

When asked how it feels to be 104, he responded, “Pretty good. I made it.” Lapschies paused and added, “Good for a few more.”

After Bill tested positive, daughter Carol Brown said her father was “very, very sick.” At one point, she claimed doctors discussed the possibility of him not making through. But Lapschies was a real fighter.

“It seemed like he just made this wonderful recovery,” Brown said. “We were like shocked that he was sitting in his wheelchair waving at us through the window and we were like, ‘He’s gonna make it!’”

“We hope that this will inspire some of the other people that are going through this,” Carolee Brown said. “And we’re really excited and looking forward to 105.”

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