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Bill Lapschies is among at least 15 residents of the Edward C. Allworth Veterans’ Home who tested positive for the illness, Portland’s KOIN-TV reported. Two of those patients have died, the Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs wrote on Facebook on Monday.
Lapschies has recovered, making him possibly the oldest patient to do so, his family told KOIN.
“Our most senior veteran resident survived COVID-19 and today celebrates his 104th birthday,” the veteran’s home wrote in a Facebook post.
Lapschies was born in 1916, two years before the Spanish flu pandemic infected an estimated one-third of the world’s population and killed more than 50 million people – 675,000 of them in the U.S.
To celebrate both his recovery and his birthday, family members remained outside the veteran’s home, which is closed to visitors, with balloons and facemasks and cake and stayed a minimum of 6 feet apart, according to the outlet.
Photos of the little gathering show Lapschies in a light-blue mask of his own and a hat emblazoned in gold letters spelling out WWII Veteran.
And while he might be the oldest, he’s not the first WWII vet to fight through the virus. Bill Kelly, 95, recently recovered as well.
At least 3,873 people had died from COVID-19 in the United States as of Wednesday afternoon, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
Fox News’ Frank Miles and James Rogers contributed to this report.