“My mother is a survivor. She is not human,” daughter Joanne Merola of Angelina Friedman from New York told CNN. “She has superhuman genes.” Angelina Friedman is 102 and has indeed been swimming through a lot of life-threatening waters since her birth. This crisis year, she also struggled through Covid-19, twice even.
Angelina Sciales was born on October 18, 1918, when the Spanish flu’s deadly second wave swept the entire world. She was born on a passenger ship with Italian migrants bound for New York City. Her mother died giving birth. Angelina’s sisters took care of the baby until they were reunited with their father in New York. They moved to Brooklyn.
Later in life, Angelina Friedman – she had now taken the name of her husband Harold Friedman – developed cancer. At the same time, incidentally, as her husband, who died of the disease. Angelina did survive the cancer, as did several other life threats: miscarriages, internal bleeding, and blood poisoning.
This disaster year, she was also not spared from the new coronavirus. She already had a prize in March and recently again, according to her daughter Joanna Merola.
The elderly woman was transferred from the nursing home in Westchester, where she still lives, to the hospital on March 21 for a minor medical intervention. There she turned out to be infected with Covid-19.
She had to stay in the hospital for a week and then in isolation in her nursing homeroom. For weeks she had a fever but no breathing problems, her daughter said. Angelina only tested negative for the coronavirus on April 20.
In late October, her daughter Merola received a call from the retirement home saying Angelina had tested positive again. She had a fever and dry cough as symptoms. But again, the plucky, then just 102-year-old Angelina came through.
The good news came on November 17. “My invincible mother tested negative,” said Merola. She was allowed to return from isolation and return to her normal room.
A tough lady, that Angelina, the last survivor of eleven children. Due to her age, she hardly sees or hears, but she continues to enjoy life to the fullest. She likes to knit and makes all kinds of things for visitors to the nursing home. She had another big party for her birthday last year and was crowned ‘prom queen’ of the retirement home.
“She is not the oldest to survive Covid-19, but she may be the oldest to survive Covid-19 twice,” her daughter concludes in an interview with CNN.