99-year-old COVID-19 patient released from hospital in Texas, days before 100th birthday

Published: Sep. 3, 2020 at 12:57 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - On Wednesday, 99-year-old Anna Jo Thomas was released from Covenant Health in Lubbock after being hospitalized with COVID-19. She was hospitalized for a week and was sent home with a large celebration and a birthday cake. You see, she will turn 100 years old on Sept. 19.

“You know, it’s hard to believe she’s gonna be 100. She doesn’t (believe it), because she doesn’t act like she’s 100. Nobody told her that she’s an old lady! So I don’t even think about it. You know, I feel like she’s just gonna be around forever,” said Anna’s daughter, Marilyn Dixon.

When she was admitted to the hospital, staff and caregivers were concerned for her because of her age.

“The doctor called me and she told me, she said, ‘It’s very serious. She’s probably got 50/50 chance of making it.’ And I kept thinking to myself, this is not how I wanted the end of my mother’s life to be… like this with being alone,” Marilyn said. “And then, you know, I collected myself and I thought, OK, if anybody can beat this, Mother can, I know she can. And sure enough… here we are!”

“Advanced age is considered a factor that would cause a poor outcome, especially when somebody is above the age of 85 or 90. They say the chances of survival with COVID-19 is, is you know, significantly low. But with a fighting spirit, she did quite well and I’m very privileged to be able to take care of her and I’m very happy that she’s going home today,” said Dr. Prakash Shrestha, Medical Director for Infection Prevention and Antimicrobial Stewardship.

Anna Joe is very active and her daughter says she is not the typical 100-year-old. She says she has a competitive spirit.

“She’s a very avid bridge player. Of course pre-COVID, she was in several bridge clubs, and I guess that’s over now. But any kind of games, card games…very competitive. She will beat you. She will make it her mission to win,” her daughter said while laughing. “She likes to bake. Even at almost 100 she’s a good baker. She can probably make the best pecan pie that you’ll ever eat. She’s still piddles in the yard. She likes to be active.”

And being active is one of the things Marilyn believes in helping her mother recover so quickly.

“They told me she’s 99, I was a little worried. Obviously, that’s one of the risk factors I mentioned. But then when I went and saw her, her chronological age might have been 99 what physiological she was much, much younger than what she was. And then, you know, we went through her history and we started treating her with medication that is required. She was very, very enthusiastic. He had a fighting spirit. We went through her previous medical issues she had gone through a couple of really serious condition in the past. And I’m glad that she did very well. She responded to our treatment, you know, with the with all the support from caregivers and with the grace of God, she did very well,” Shrestha said.

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