101-year-old with ‘superhuman DNA’ who dodged 1918 flu survives coronavirus
A 101-year-old upstate New York woman with “superhuman DNA” not only beat the coronavirus, but knocked out cancer and lived through the 1918 Spanish flu, according to a report.
Angelina Friedman, a resident at a Mohegan Lake nursing home, tested positive for the COVID-19 bug last month but licked the deadly global pandemic last week — a feat that didn’t entirely surprise her family, WKBW-TV in Buffalo reported Monday.
“She is not human,” her daughter, Joanne Merola, told the outlet. “She has superhuman DNA.”
“My mother is a survivor,” Merola added. “She survived miscarriages, internal bleeding, and cancer.”
The daughter of Italian immigrants, Friedman was born aboard a ship bound for America in 1918, while the Spanish flu was raging — and emerged unscathed, according to the outlet.
Her mother died in childbirth, so she and her two sisters joined their father in Brooklyn, where she grew up one of 11 children.
Years later, she and her husband, Harold Friedman, were diagnosed with cancer.
“She survived,” Merola said. “He didn’t.”
Now a resident of the Northern Westchester Restorative Therapy and Nursing Center, Friedman’s latest hurdle came on March 21, when she was taken to the hospital for a minor medical procedure but tested positive for the coronavirus, WKBW reported.
After a week in the hospital, Friedman returned to the nursing home, where she was kept in isolation. On April 20, she tested negative for the virus.
One of her first requests was yarn so she could crochet, her daughter said.
Merola hasn’t been able to see her mom because of a back injury. Since Friedman is nearly deaf, they also haven’t been able to speak on the phone.
“If my mother could see this, I’d say, ‘Keep going, Ma,’” Merola said. “‘You’re going to outlive us all.’”
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