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This WWII veteran recovered from coronavirus. He just turned 104

William “Bill” Lapschies defeated COVID-19

A woman and child walk past North Salem High School on Tuesday, March 31, 2020, which like all schools in Oregon, is closed until April 28, 2020, because of the coronavirus. Facing an expected closure through the end of the academic year, schools across Oregon have been told to begin distance learning on April 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Andrew Selsky)
A woman and child walk past North Salem High School on Tuesday, March 31, 2020, which like all schools in Oregon, is closed until April 28, 2020, because of the coronavirus. Facing an expected closure through the end of the academic year, schools across Oregon have been told to begin distance learning on April 13.
Andrew Selsky, Associated Press

William “Bill” Lapschies — a World War II veteran from Oregon — just defeated the novel coronavirus, becoming the oldest living survivor of COVID-19.

What happened:

  • Lapschies’ family told OPB that he started feeling symptoms of COVID-19 on March 5. They immediately isolated him to his own room.
  • Doctors said he might have pneumonia. Six days later, a test came back positive for COVID-19.
  • His granddaughter Jamie Yutzie told The Washington Post: “We all thought, ‘He’s 103, what are the odds he’s going to come out of this?’”
  • His doctors said he had a mild case of the disease and he did not have any respiratory symptoms. But still, it worried his family. He would appear happy one day but then suffer from fever the next day. His condition would decline.
  • His family continued to visit him. And then, suddenly, doctors offered a positive turn, according to The Washington Post. The coronavirus had cleared. He could celebrate his new birthday on April 1.

His recovery

  • Lapschies held a party to celebrate his 104th birthday with family. Everyone at the party stood 6 feet apart due to social distancing.
  • His daughter Carolee Brown told the Oregonian: “He is fully recovered. He is very perky. And he is very excited.”
  • So how does he feel about turning 104? “Pretty good. I made it,” he reportedly said.
  • Lapschies reportedly survived the Spanish Flu and World War II, according to The Hill.