Surviving two pandemics in one's life isn't something most people would predict for themselves, but that's exactly the distinction recently earned by 107-year-old Marilee Shapiro Asher.
Asher—per a JTA-citing report from the South Florida Sun Sentinel—was admitted to a hospital in April with COVID-19. As daughter Joan Shapiro recalled, a doctor notified her that her mother likely had only 12 hours to live. Asher ended up undergoing a course of antibiotic treatment during a five-day hospital stay before being sent home to the Chevy Chase House senior living center in Washington, D.C.
Asher, an accomplished artist who was set to debut a new solo exhibition before it was called off due to the virus, first started noticing symptoms of COVID-19 including fatigue back in March.
"I am quite certain that she thought that she was going to die," her daughter said. "I really think she thought that." When Asher was about six years old in 1918, she contracted the Spanish flu but also survived that fearful experience.
In 2015, Asher released an autobiography titled Dancing in the Wonder for 102 Years. Up top, catch a video of Asher reading from the book during a 2015 launch event.
In a similarly inspiring story, last month saw word that 101-year-old Angelina Friedman—who was born during the Spanish flu pandemic—had survived COVID-19. "She is not human. She has superhuman DNA," her daughter told reporters.