A 95-year-old veteran from Oregon has recovered after contracting COVID-19, and his granddaughter is sharing his story to inspire others.
Bill Kelly, who lived through the Great Depression and served in the South Pacific during World War II, fought his latest battle two weeks ago after falling ill from the coronavirus, the Oregonian reported.
On March 15, Kelly informed his family that he wasn’t feeling well after he started experiencing fever symptoms. Due to several underlying health conditions — such as kidney disease, a congenital heart condition, and high blood pressure — his family elected to take him to the hospital for treatment and testing.
Two days later, the test results came back positive — Kelly had contracted COVID-19.
Kelly had left the hospital a day earlier and was instructed to quarantine at home for 14 days along with family members who live with him. Kelly shares a home with his granddaughter, her mother, her husband, and their two small children, who are 5 years old and 11 months old.
“Grandpa Bill’s pretty hardcore,” his granddaughter, Rose Etherington, 41, told the Oregonian. “But it was still nerve-wracking. We were just drinking hot tea all the time. Taking zinc. Washing our hands constantly.”
For the first week, the family was told to avoid Kelly, who was cooped up in his room resting, praying, and watching old movies. When Kelly did come out of his room, the family made sure to disinfect any surface he touched.
“It was seven days where we treated the poor guy like a leper,” Rose’s husband, Isaac Etherington, 42, said.
But Kelly kept in good spirits: “We’re doing just fine here. We’re toughing it out. I’ve got two great-grandsons to keep me busy. I’ve been very fortunate.”
On Monday, he completed his 14-day quarantine and had fully recovered.
In a Facebook post during the quarantine, Rose Etherington shared the family’s experience in order to give hope to others who may be battling the virus.
“MY 95 YEAR OLD GRANDFATHER CONTRACTED THE COVID-19 VIRUS AND IS KICKING IT IN THE BUTT!!” the post reads. “In his words — ‘I survived the foxholes of Guam, I can get through this [coronavirus] bull**** .’”
Etherington was careful to note that she is “in no way downplaying the seriousness of this disease. It’s real and it’s here and it needs to be respected,” she said. “Just hoping grandpa Bill’s story will encourage you and put a smile on your face.”
She also added that the rest of the family remained healthy through the quarantine.