103-year-old Massachusetts woman celebrates coronavirus recovery with a beer

Created: May 29, 2020 03:23 PM

(WWLP / NBC News) Jennie Stejna has beaten the odds. 

Stejna has lived at the Life Care Center in Wilbraham, Massachusetts for the past seven years. 


In April, she tested positive for COVID-19.  The virus been especially deadly for men and women over the age of 65, including many like Stejna who live in nursing homes.

Two weeks ago, Stejna completed her recovery, and celebrated with a beer.  The moment was captured in a photo that ran in USA Today, and she's repeated the toast again.

Her story also inspired a heartfelt essay from Life Care Nursing Supervisor Lisa Persson.

It reads in part: "I remember thinking that the battle was lost, there would be no way that this woman, at 103 years old, could beat the demon that we have all seen on the nightly news. The demon that has accounted for more than half the deaths from COVID-19, would most undoubtedly take this woman. Our staff had to readjust our battle plan now that the virus had made its way in to the building. We now had to figure out how to love each of our residents through the war that was now just beginning for us. Our first course of action, was to figure out how to try to pull Jennie through this fight that she was going to be facing."

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