A great-great-grandmother in Seattle had just finished recovering from a stroke when she tested positive for coronavirus, but, staying true to her reputation as a fighter, she’s on her way to recovery despite the odds.
Knowing the statistics for elderly people and those who are immunocompromised, Geneva Wood’s family was devastated by the 90-year-old’s March 6 diagnosis and prepared for the worst. But now, two weeks since she fell ill, she’s made remarkable improvement and is close to being asymptomatic.
“First and foremost, to families that have lost a loved one or find themselves with a different story, we are beyond sorry for your loss. It’s truly awful and there are no words,” wrote Kate Neidigh, who is married to Wood’s grandson.
But to the families currently battling a coronavirus diagnosis who are hoping and praying for a positive outcome, Neidigh said, “we want to introduce you to Geneva Wood, a 90-year-old great-great-grandmother who her family describes as a ‘bat out of hell.’”
“While not technically my blood, she’s been my honorary grandma for 17 years and counting. We love her, everyone loves her.”
Characterizing Wood as the matriarch of the family and a “firecracker Texas woman full of grit,” Neidigh told HuffPost the family had been crushed when Wood first started experiencing a fever and was taken to Harborview Medical Center.
She had been two days from being discharged from the Life Care Center in Kirkland after making a remarkable recovery from a stroke in January, which had rendered her unable to speak, walk or move her right arm.
Then her nursing center became America’s first epicenter of the pandemic.
Her four children spent days comforting her through a glass window, and on March 9 they were told to come and say their goodbyes ― wearing full protective suits.
Two days later, doctors noted she was resting well and they felt “cautiously optimistic,” Neidigh said, and she’s been getting better ever since.
“Who are we to question the fighting spirit of a tough ol’ Texas coot!” said daughter Cami Neidigh, according to Seattle Refined. “If anyone’s going to give the middle finger to a killer virus, it’s her.”
In the article for Seattle Refined, Kate Neidigh added that at one point the family was told Wood, who wanted something to a drink while in her hospital bed, had been seen “waving her hands in the air yelling, ‘I ain’t dead yet! I’m gonna die of thirst before I die of this Coronavirus!’”
On Thursday, doctors told the family that “everything’s looking really great,” but they still weren’t ready to run a final test, and Wood remained in isolation.
She needs to be totally symptom-free for 72 hours, when she’ll be tested again for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. She may be tested Friday, Neidigh said.
Neidigh said her husband is beside himself, as is the rest of the family, and Wood is so “inspired by all the messages of support and hope that are just encouraging her to fight even more and even harder and even stronger.”
“She feels like if she can provide anybody with hope right now she really wants to be that,” Neidigh said.
Their advice to other families is to stay positive, keep on fighting and thank caregivers.
“And for the love of all things precious, people, just stay home.”