Covid: 105-year-old virus survivor celebrates birthday

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image captionKathleen Wiltshire celebrated her 105th birthday with staff at Dean Court Residential Home in Exeter, Devon

A care home resident who survived Covid-19 has celebrated her 105th birthday with carers.

Kathleen Wiltshire caught coronavirus in November at Dean Court Residential Home in Exeter, Devon.

Ms Wiltshire, former president of a Women's Institute group, exceeded all expectations and managed to beat the virus in time for her January celebrations.

Carers described the 105-year-old as a "very tough, strong lady".

When Ms Wiltshire, who has dementia, tested positive for coronavirus last year, staff at Dean Court were "extremely worried".

Aged 104 at the time, there was the "possibility that Kath would not come through that", care manager Bridgette Armstrong said.

image copyrightFamily handout
image captionKathleen Wiltshire was president of a Women's Institute group in Devon, and a keen golfer

Typically a "social" character within the home, Ms Wiltshire became "withdrawn" when she was forced to isolate from other residents.

"Being in your room 24/7, I think it was a big strain on Kath," Ms Armstrong said.

Ms Wiltshire moved to Devon during the 1970s where she became president of a local Women's Institute group.

John Holiday, Manager of Dean Court, said she was an "amazing woman" who was "made of good stuff".

image captionStaff at Dean Court said Ms Wiltshire's "tough" nature helped her to survive the ordeal

To the relief of her carers, Ms Wiltshire survived the virus without becoming "extremely poorly", Ms Armstrong said.

"We're absolutely over the moon that Kath is here to see her 105th birthday," she said.

"I think that there's hope there," Ms Armstrong added.

"It gives that positive feeling to everybody and the uplift to know you can get it at any age and pull through."

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