95-year-old WWII veteran shares positive message after surviving coronavirus

Written by on April 3, 2020

ABC News(SALEM, Oregon) — William “Bill” Kelly, a 95-year-old veteran of WWII 2 who also lived through the Great Depression has added another accomplishment to his name after contracting the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, and beating it.

“I am doing well,” said Kelly. “I definitely feel very good this morning.”

Kelly’s family was there to support him through his recovery, including his granddaughter, Rose Etherington, and her husband, Isaac Etherington, with whom he lives in Yamhill County, Oregon. They joined ABC News’ “Pandemic: What You Need to Know” to share their story, and remind people that there “are a lot of people surviving and getting through” the COVID-19 pandemic, Isaac Etherington said.

Kelly said he took steps to care for himself once he started feeling the illness coming.

“It’s just something that you deal with as you get it. The big thing with me is that if I feel that I’m coming down with something, take good care and get help, find out what to do and do what you’re supposed to do, get plenty of rest — that sort of thing,” he said. “You generally get through it OK. I was very fortunate that I did. I got through.”

Kelly said he had “two or three pretty tough nights and evenings where I had problems with my lower [body], my legs and my back — difficulty getting rest — because it was very uncomfortable trying to sleep. Other than that, though, you work your way through it. Do as you’re told. And I got some good help here.”

He said his family was there to help him.

“They stayed right on me,” he said. “So we worked it all through. So we’re very happy and happy to be here.”

Kelly, who has kidney disease, a congenital heart condition and high blood pressure, first started feeling symptoms of the infection on March 15, the family told ABC News.

“When Grandpa Bill doesn’t feel well, he doesn’t say anything and we have to dig it out of him,” Isaac Etherington said. “He said he wasn’t feeling well and he had a fever of 100.7 [degrees]. We called his doctor. He was coughing a little and his legs and body hurt.”

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