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At 102, she has lived through the 1918 Spanish flu and beaten Coronavirus twice

The 102-year-old New York resident reportedly defied the odds yet again recently when she survived a second Coronavirus diagnosis.

At 102, she has lived through the 1918 Spanish flu and beaten Coronavirus twice
Cover Image Source: Facebook/North Westchester Restorative Therapy & Nursing Center

Earlier this year, we brought you the incredible story of the then 101-year-old Angelina Friedman who has proved a worthy opponent for not one but two pandemics. A survivor in every sense of the world, the centenarian was born on a ship during the height of the 1918 flu pandemic and has lived through the Spanish flu, cancer, miscarriages, internal bleeding, sepsis, and now, 2 encounters with the deadly novel Coronavirus that has taken nearly 1.5 million lives worldwide. According to her daughter, Joanne Merola, the 102-year-old New York resident defied the odds yet again recently when she survived a second Coronavirus diagnosis.



"My invincible mother tested negative," Merola told CNN affiliate WPIX. Friedman—a resident of the North Westchester Restorative Therapy and Nursing Center — first tested positive for COVID-19 when she was taken to the hospital on March 21 for a minor medical procedure. Following the diagnosis, she spent a week in the hospital, after which she returned to the nursing home and isolated in her room. Although she ran a fever on and off for several weeks, she ultimately tested negative for the virus on April 20. While Freidman quickly got back to her usual cheery self soon after that, Merola received a call from the nursing home again in late October informing her that her mother "had tested positive again."



"She had symptoms -- fever, a dry cough," Merola said. "They thought she might also have the flu." She revealed that the older residents were put in isolation since a number of staff and residents were getting sick and that she received daily updates on her mother. Then, on November 17, she received the news that Friedman had tested negative again. After a second test confirmed the negative results, Friedman was moved out of isolation back to her regular room. Although she has lost most of her hearing and her vision is poor, this resilient senior is still celebrating life.



"It just goes to show how much the world needs hope that you can beat this at 101," said Amy Elba, an administrator at the Mohegan Lake, New York, nursing home earlier this year. "My mom was born in 1918. She was born on a ship coming from Italy during the Spanish flu," Merola revealed. "Her mother died giving birth on the ship, and she was taken care of by her two sisters, who were also on board." The ship was reportedly transporting immigrants from Italy to New York City in the midst of the 1918 pandemic and baby Angelina Sciales (now Friedman) is not believed to have contracted the disease. When the ship reached its destination, Friedman's sisters reunited with their father and were taken to Brooklyn where the siblings grew up.



"She was one of 11 children. She’s the last one surviving," said Merola. "She and my dad had cancer at the same time. She survived. He didn't. Everybody in the family lived until at least 95, except one uncle. My mother is a survivor. She is not human. She has superhuman DNA." Elba revealed that with her unwavering cheery disposition, Friedman is quite popular at the nursing home. "She's super active. You couldn't believe it for her age," she said. "She is a mover and a shaker." Speaking of her mother's newfound popularity, Merola said: "If my mother could see this, I'd say, 'Keep going, Ma! You're going to outlive us all."



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