Illustration for article titled 99-Year-Old Black Woman Survives COVID-19 Infection Just in Time for Her 100th Birthday
Screenshot: Phoebe Putney Health System (PPHS Official Facebook)

Since the beginning stages of the coronavirus pandemic, our newsfeeds have been filled with horror stories about the devastating impact the outbreak has had on people’s daily lives as well as their very lives. But every so often, we come across inspiring stories that warm the heart. In Albany, Ga., a 99-year-old woman who has survived COVID-19 infection just in time for her 100th birthday gives us one of those stories.

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The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Maude Burke, the oldest COVID-19 patient to be discharged from Phoebe Putney Health System, got a beautiful celebratory sendoff from nurses and staff as they lined the hospital hallways in joyous applause as the 99-year-old left to go home after a 17-day stay at the hospital.

“We continue to celebrate with our #COVID-19 patients when they get well enough to go home from our hospitals,” Phoebe Putney posted on the hospital’s Facebook page along with a video of Burke’s sendoff. “This celebration was extra special. Maude Burke is...is the oldest COVID-19 patient we’ve been able to discharge. Her strength and determination are amazing, and we wish her well as she continues to recover. Thank you for being an inspiration, Ms. Maude!”

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We need to see stories like this in order to remind ourselves that, in these times of great distress and uncertainty, there is still hope and there are still happy moments for us to celebrate. Thank you for your courage and resilience, Maude Burke. We salute you.

Zack Linly is a poet, performer, freelance writer, blogger and grown man lover of cartoons

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