New Jersey nursing home resident who tested positive for COVID on his 105th birthday beats virus


A New Jersey nursing home resident who tested positive for COVID-19 on her 105th birthday has beaten the virus, crediting her resistance to her ritual of consuming nine gin-soaked raisins a day and ‘no junk food.’

Lucia DeClerck, who lives in the Mystic Meadows nursing home in Little Egg Harbor, has survived three husbands, two world wars, and now two pandemics.

The great-great-grandmother, who was two years old when the Spanish flu outbreak broke out, has now recovered from the coronavirus more than a century later, having tested positive for the disease on January 25.

DeClerck’s diagnosis came the day after he received his second dose of the Pfizer vaccine, Mystic Meadows administrator Michael Neiman told the New York Times.

Despite being considered a high-risk patient due to her age, Neiman said DeClerck did not show any serious symptoms of the virus and was back in her room within two weeks, clutching her rosary and wearing her signature knit hat and sunglasses.

“I feel wonderful,” she told CBS on Monday, adding that the secret to her longevity was “pray, pray, pray and no junk food.”

But speaking to the Times, he said surviving COVID-19 may have had something to do with another staple in his life: his consumption of nine gin-soaked golden raisins every morning, which he has eaten for most of his life. .

“Fill a jar,” he explained. “Nine raisins a day after resting for nine days.”

Great-grandmother Lucia DeClerck (above), who was two years old when the Spanish flu outbreak occurred, has recovered from the coronavirus more than a century later, having tested positive for the disease on January 25.

DeClerck (pictured on his 100th birthday), who lives at the Mystic Meadows nursing home in Little Egg Harbor, has survived three husbands, two world wars, and now two pandemics.

DeClerck (pictured on his 100th birthday), who lives at the Mystic Meadows nursing home in Little Egg Harbor, has survived three husbands, two world wars, and now two pandemics.

Her children and grandchildren recall that the ritual was one of DeClerck’s many lifelong habits and described her as a “health freak.”

Other habits of hers include drinking a homemade blend of aloe vera juice, apple cider vinegar, ginger, and “a little gin” every day.

The 105-year-old also brushes her teeth daily with baking soda, something to which she attributes having allowed her to keep all her original teeth and not have her first cavities until she is 99 years old.

“We just thought, ‘Grandma, what are you doing? You’re crazy, “her granddaughter, Shawn Laws O’Neil, 53, told the Times.” Now we laugh. She has beaten everything. “That has come her way. ‘

Born in Maui, Hawaii, in 1916 to a Guatemalan mother and a Spanish father, DeClerck lived through the Spanish flu pandemic, two world wars, and the deaths of three husbands and a son.

He previously lived in Wyoming, California and even moved back to Hawaii for a time, before settling in New Jersey in the late 1970s, where he lived with his eldest son Henry Laws III and his wife, Lillie Jean.

After celebrating her 90th birthday, DeClerck moved to an adult community in Manahawkin, along the Jersey Shore, where she remained incredibly active until she suffered a fall on Christmas Day 2017 and moved to Mystic Meadows.

“She is the epitome of perseverance,” granddaughter Shawn told the Times. His mind is so sharp. She will remember things when I was a kid that I don’t even remember. ‘

The great-great-grandmother, who was two years old when the flu outbreak broke out in Spain, has recovered from the coronavirus more than a century later, having tested positive for the disease on January 25.

'We would only think, "Grandma, what are you doing? You're crazy, '' her granddaughter, Shawn Laws O'Neil, 53, told the Times.  'Now the laughter is upon us.  She has beaten everything that has been presented to her '

Despite being considered a high-risk patient due to her age, DeClerck did not show any serious symptoms of the virus and returned to her room in two weeks, clutching her rosary and wearing her signature knit hat and sunglasses.

Now, having eliminated the virus, DeClerck has earned a new nickname from his two surviving children, five grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren, and 11 great-great-grandchildren: `` The 105-year-old tough guy who kicked Covid '' (DeClerck shown in the center with family members)

Now, having eliminated the virus, DeClerck has earned a new nickname from his two surviving children, five grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren, and 11 great-great-grandchildren: “ The 105-year-old tough guy who kicked Covid ” (DeClerck shown in the center with family members)

Born in Maui, Hawaii, in 1916 to a Guatemalan mother and Spanish father, she experienced the Spanish flu pandemic, two world wars, and the deaths of three husbands and a son.

He previously lived in Wyoming, California and even moved to Hawaii for a time, before moving to New Jersey in the late 1970s, where he lived with his eldest son Henry Laws III and his wife, Lillie Jean.

Born in Maui, Hawaii, in 1916 to a Guatemalan mother and Spanish father, she experienced the Spanish flu pandemic, two world wars, and the deaths of three husbands and a son.

DeClerck is the oldest resident of Mystic Meadows, and a firm favorite with staff and residents alike, according to Neiman.

“She is the sweetest,” Neiman told NJ.com.

After testing positive for COVID on January 25, DeClerck was reportedly scared and struggling to isolate herself from her usual caregivers and fellow residents.

“We were very concerned,” his son Phillip told the Times. “But he has a tenacity that is incredible.”

DeClerck is one of 62 Mystic Meadows residents who have contracted the virus since the pandemic began last March. Four of them died, including three who were receiving palliative care, the Times reported.

“We are as careful as possible,” Neiman said, “but this [virus] Find a way to sneak in

Neiman described DeClerck, a devout Catholic, as “a little scared” when she received her diagnosis, but said she kept insisting that “God will protect me.”

Now, having eliminated the virus, DeClerck has earned a new nickname from his two surviving children, five grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren and 11 great-great-grandchildren: ‘The 105-year-old tough guy who kicked Covid.’

She said surviving COVID-19 may have had something to do with another staple in her life: her consumption of nine gin-soaked golden raisins every morning, which she has eaten for most of her life.

DeClerck pictured in her bedroom on Monday

He said surviving COVID-19 may have had something to do with another staple in his life: his consumption of nine gin-soaked golden raisins every morning, which he has eaten for most of his life.

DeClerck is the oldest resident of the Mystic Meadows nursing home in Little Egg Harbor (above), and a firm favorite with staff and residents alike.

DeClerck is the oldest resident of the Mystic Meadows nursing home in Little Egg Harbor (above), and a firm favorite with staff and residents alike.

DeClerck was also surprised by a phone call from New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy on Monday morning.

Murphy later described his talk as an ‘uplifting conversation’ during a press conference on the coronavirus.

For the DeClerck family, they say they are putting off birthday celebrations until the pandemic is over.

Meanwhile, Shawn says the whole family is ‘running off and getting glass jars’ to fill with gin-soaked raisins, in an effort to ‘catch up’.

DeClerck is not the oldest person to survive the virus. The oldest known inhabitant of Europe, Sister Andre, tested positive for the virus at 116 years old.

Andre reportedly celebrated his 117th birthday earlier this month with a glass of champagne at a nursing home in Toulon, southern France, after beating the virus.

DeClerck, meanwhile, said he counts every day after his fear of the coronavirus as a blessing.

‘I am very happy to be here. Thank you Jesus, ‘she told NJ.com.

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