Indiana woman enjoys 100th birthday after surviving COVID-19

ELKHART, INDIANA (AP) — A 100-year-old Indiana woman who has lived through World War II, survived cancer and successfully battled her way back from a bout of pneumonia last year, learned earlier this month that she’s also a survivor of COVID-19.

Leora Martin of Elkhart found out a week before her birthday on June 13 that she had tested negative for the virus after being diagnosed with COVID-19 in April — one of 76 residents at her assisted living facility to be infected. She and her twin sister, Delora Bloomingdale, who lives in California, celebrated their birthdays as centenarians and Leora’s recovery while conversing through Zoom.

“It was sort of a relief,” Martin told The Elkhart Truth of her recovery. “You have to remember, I’ve been through cancer. I had to go to the hospital for five days with rods in my body – that was not comfortable, but I survived. They didn’t think I would survive pneumonia last year either, but I did.”

Marilou Snell, Martin’s daughter, said her mother was mostly asymptomatic, showing slight signs of appetite loss and exhaustion. She noted that Greenleaf Health Campus, the assisted living facility where Martin resides, was on lockdown so she couldn’t visit her mother in person.

“We were all pretty devastated when we found out she tested positive,” Snell added. “You read and hear all these terrible things and of course right away you fear the worst, so it was really hard.”

“It was a really tough time, but the staff at Greenleaf were wonderful,” Snell said. “They updated us with phone calls, text messages with what was going on. It was just very comforting to know that she had health care people around her 24/7.”