A 101-year-old New York woman who survived cancer and the Spanish influenza pandemic has now overcome her battle with the deadly coronavirus.
Angelina Friedman, whose mother died giving birth to her on a ship bringing immigrants from Italy to New York City during the second portion of the Spanish flu in 1918, has been deemed a “superhuman” by members of her family.
Friedman, who has also overcome miscarriages and sepsis, has outlived her husband and all of her 10 siblings.
“Her mother died giving birth on the ship, and she was taken care of by her two sisters, who were also on board,” Friedman’s daughter Joanne Merola said in an interview with Pix11.
After disembarking, Friedman and her sisters were reunited with their father in Brooklyn, New York. She later married Harold Friedman and both of them contracted cancer shortly after. “She and my dad had cancer at the same time,” Merola said. “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,” Merola said of her mother.
Friedman now resides at the North Westchester Restorative Therapy and Nursing Center in Lake Mohegan, New York. She was diagnosed with COVID-19 in late March. She remained in the hospital for a week and later returned to the nursing home and went into isolation.
On April 30, Friedman tested negative for the virus.
According to Merola, she has not been able to visit her mother since February and said they cannot speak on the phone because Friedman is almost deaf.
“They tell me she’s doing great,” Merola said. “She’s up and about as much as possible. She’s looking for wool to crochet with. If my mother could see this I’d tell her, ‘You keep going, Ma. You’re gonna outlive us all.'”