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Wisconsin woman survives COVID-19 at 108

Ruth Stryzewski prepares to turn 109 on Feb. 20.
Credit: Park View Health Center

OSHKOSH, Wis. — A Wisconsin woman is over a century old and has beaten COVID-19.

Now Ruth Stryzewski is looking forward to celebrating her 109th birthday.

But it's her recent battle with COVID-19, that has caregivers at the Parkview Health Center in Oshkosh feeling like she beat the biggest of all odds.

"Remarkably, at this age, she was able to fight through that, that horrible virus, and is doing very well today,” said Ingrid Garrison, who is Parkview’s activities specialist. “She's gaining her strength back and becoming the old Ruth we knew."

After contracting the virus, Stryzewski spent several weeks in isolation. But fortunately, her family said, her symptoms weren't severe enough to require hospitalization.

"Her symptoms were minor,” said nephew Dave Misterek. “They weren't major symptoms. She didn't have to go into the hospital or receive oxygen or anything like that, and she recovered and appears today to be totally free of the virus."

All of this, as Stryzewski prepares to turn 109 on Feb. 20.

Those around her hope the story of survival will inspire others, who either come down with the virus or work on the front lines and may be feeling a sense of hopelessness.

"God has a plan, and his plan was to help her through this,” Garrison said. “And there is hope and there's loving and caring people in these nursing home setting. And all of the frontline workers are doing the best they can and rooting for their patients, so to speak."