On Wednesday, Bill Lapschies celebrated his 104th birthday–and being the world’s oldest-known coronavirus survivor. The Oregon man and World War II veteran took to the patio at Edward C. Allworth Veterans’ Home in Lebanon to mark the occasion with a small gathering of relatives who made sure to stand a socially-distant six feet away.
The party took place 25 days since his coronavirus symptoms first surfaced and 19 days since he had a fever. “It just went away,” Lapschies said about surviving COVID-19. “Sit out here and you can get rid of anything.” Granddaughter Jamie Yutzie says, “It’s very emotional. He’s an amazing man to come through all this and be 104. He’s so inspirational, he should be an inspiration to the world. If he can do it, then people need to keep their hopes up.”
Meanwhile, his doctor Rob Richardson notes, “This is somebody who was born in 1916 so he lived through and survived the Spanish flu of 1918 and I was going to try very hard to not let him lose the battle to COVID-19 of 2020.”