Screen shot: KOIN-TV

By Jon Dougherty @TheNatSent

(TNS) If you’re looking for a feel-good coronavirus story amongst all of the negative news and coverage, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better one than this.



As reported by CBS News on Friday, a “resilient” World War II vet who lived through the Spanish flu, the Great Depression, and World War II has just survived coronavirus — in time for his 104th birthday.



The network reports:

William “Bill” Lapschies contracted the virus at the Edward C. Allworth Veterans’ Home in Oregon, CBS affiliate KOIN reports. He first started showing symptoms on March 5 and been isolated in his room, but as of this week, he is considered recovered from COVID-19.

Lapschies recovered just in time for his birthday, his family said. On Wednesday, Lapschies’ family surprised him at the veterans’ home for a unique celebration. Since visitors aren’t allowed inside at this time, they had a social-distancing party outside.

His family said they won’t’ get to celebrate his birthday like the want because of social distancing guidelines.

“We celebrated his 101 and had over 200 people,” daughter Carolee Brown told KOIN. “But we’re so thrilled he’s recovered from this and we just had to do something for him.”

Lapschies was stationed in the Aleutian Islands during World War II, his family said. Now, they think he must be one of the oldest people to recover from the virus.

“His smile, I wish you could have seen it, that mask covers it but his smile is absolutely contagious,” one of his six great-grandchildren, Jamie Yutzie, told KOIN. Lapschies also has two grandchildren and five great-great-grandchildren, who can’t wait to hug him again, KOIN reports.

At his 104th birthday party, KOIN asked Lapschies how he felt to reach that milestone. “Pretty good. I made it,” Lapschies said. He then paused and added, “Good for a few more.”



Let’s hope. What a national treasure. And what a great story.

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