Grandmother, 103, beats coronavirus and celebrates with a cold beer

A great-great-grandma cracked a cold one to celebrate beating COVID-19.

Jennie Stejna, 103, was the first resident at her Massachusetts nursing home to catch the novel coronavirus. She then became the first person to beat it after a 20-day fight, granddaughter Shelley Stejna Gunn told Wicked Local Easton.

“She always had that feisty fighting spirit,” Shelley said.

“She didn’t give up.”

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That spirit was on display when Stejna took a victorious sip from a bottle of Bud Light beer. In a video shared by the publication, she takes three big gulps before saying, “That’s cold.”

While Stejna is in the clear now, it wasn’t always the case.

When she was first diagnosed, her family members were hopeful, but they “braced for the worst” when her condition started to decline, they told the New York Post.

“She lost her appetite and getting her to stay hydrated was challenging,” David Gunn, 49, said of his grandmother.

“She kind of didn’t accept what was going on. She kept complaining that she couldn’t listen to Red Sox games.”

On May 3, Gunn said goodbye to his grandmother. He asked her if she was ready to go to heaven and she responded, “Hell, yes,” according to the Wicked Local Easton.

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Turns out, the afterlife wasn’t quite ready for her yet, because she made a miraculous recovery the next day. Thirteen days later, Stejna was in the clear.

“Not to get all existential, but I would tell her that, ‘God has a purpose for you and he’s not done with you yet.’ As she pulled through this, I think we might have found her purpose,” he told the Post.

“And that is to give people a glimmer of hope. There’s a perception that this disease is a scarlet mark, and if you get it, it’s over.”

The great-great-grandma’s personality has captured hearts across social media, so much so that even Bud Light tweeted about her.

“The news we needed right now,” Bud Light wrote. “Your next beer is on us, Jennie.”

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out. In situations where you can’t keep a safe distance from others, public health officials recommend the use of a non-medical face mask or covering to prevent spreading the respiratory droplets that can carry the virus.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

meaghan.wray@globalnews.ca

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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