Covid-19 is a disease which has ravaged the older generation, but at least two Argentine centenarians have managed to overcome the killer virus.
Yolanda Gugliotti, 109, and Francisca Arguello de Samame, 101, were both given the all-clear this week after hospital treatment.
Francisca, from Córdoba, spent two weeks in hospital on oxygen during the first few days of treatment, and had the added complications of hypertension, osteoporosis, heart arrhythmia and chagas disease, but she returned home on Wednesday.
The retired headmistress told La Voz de Interior: “Hope is the most important thing. I’ve always had a strong desire to live, I love life, perhaps that’s why God has given me so many years. I feel tranquil, happy, ready to begin life again.
“My main advice is to have faith, live always thinking about what you can do, never stay still. Be constant in life, love life, live in peace and with love.”
Her daughter Maria Celia Samame added: “I didn’t think I’d see my mother ever again, but I’ve got her back again, and in great health.”
Yolanda, believed to be the oldest survivor of the virus in the country to date, is thought to have contracted the virus from one of the staff in the nursing home where she lives in Burzaco, Buenos Aires Province.
She tested positive for Covid-19 on August 25, and later contracted pneumonia. Thankfully, she made a full recovery and was pronounced clear of the virus on Monday.
“She’s got amazing strength, spirit and energy,” said her grand-daughter Roxana.
Both Yolanda and Francisca are now preparing to celebrate their next birthdays, which fall close together: Francisca on October 10 and Yolanda on October 12, and their families are working out how to join them while observing quarantine protocols.
“We are planning to go to the door with balloons, a cake, and sing Happy Birthday. The idea is that all the family is reunited with her on such a special and unique day,” added Roxana.
Yolanda and Francisca are the only centenarians to overcome Covid-10 in Argentina. Back in July, 101-year-old Buenos Aires City resident Irene Bindi was discharged from hospital, 36 days after first being diagnosed with the virus.
The oldest-recorded survivor of Covid-19 in the world to date is 113-year-old Maria Branyas from Olot, near Barcelona, Spain.