A 102-year-old woman in Westchester County, New York, is inspiring others after winning her recent battle with the coronavirus.
Angelina Sciales, whose married name is Friedman, was born in 1918 on a passenger ship carrying immigrants from Italy to New York City during the Spanish flu pandemic that killed an estimated 20 to 50 million people, Pix 11 reported.
“At the time, there were no effective drugs or vaccines to treat this killer flu strain. Citizens were ordered to wear masks, schools, theaters and businesses were shuttered and bodies piled up in makeshift morgues before the virus ended its deadly global march,” according to History.com.
Sadly, Friedman’s mother died while giving birth to her baby girl on the voyage to America.
“She was helped by her two sisters,” said Friedman’s daughter, Joanne Merola. “She was one of 11 children. She’s the last one surviving.”
On March 21, the senior who lives at the North Westchester Restorative Therapy and Nursing Center tested positive for the coronavirus and spent a week in the hospital.
Even though she had no respiratory issues, Friedman continued to run a fever on and off once she returned home and kept testing positive for the disease while she lay isolated in her bedroom.
To everyone’s relief, she finally tested negative on April 21, and nurses told Merola her mother had begun eating again and was eager to get back to her crotchet project.
“My mother is a survivor. She survived miscarriages, internal bleeding and cancer,” said her daughter, who lives nearby but was unable to visit due to a back injury.
Friedman has now survived two pandemics, giving Merola and everyone who knows her another reason to celebrate her special life.
“She is not human. She has superhuman DNA,” Merola said, laughing.
“If my mother could see this, I’d say, ‘Keep going, Ma! You’re going to outlive us all,'” she concluded.