A Tough 100-Year-Old Beat the Odds by Beating COVID-19
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A Tough 100-Year-Old Beat the Odds by Beating COVID-19

Jul 7, 2020

Jeanette Crane is a fighter. At age 100, she beat the odds and fully recovered from COVID-19.

"She's tough," says her son Jeff. "Day-by-day she just keeps getting better!"

Jeff Crane attributes Jeanette's recovery to her overall resilience and also to the doctors and nurses who care for her at the Jewish Home's Max Factor Family Foundation Nursing Building on the Eisenberg Village campus.

"They all love my mother," Jeff says. "They were with her throughout her recovery."

He specifically credits Dr. Hangnga Vu with getting his mother to "slowly come back" from the virus.

"Dr. Vu is my mother's best friend," Jeff says.

"That's true!" Dr. Vu says with a laugh. "But all of the nurses are her friends too. Everyone loves her."

Vu, who is a geriatrician, says that she got to know Jeanette when Jeanette was living in residential care at Eisenberg Village. Jeanette moved to the Jewish Home at age 93, when son Jeff says his mother began to feel unsafe living on her own.

"We became friends," Vu recalls. "We used to talk about her childhood. She always told me how much she loved life."

"One day I learned that Jeanette had generalized weakness and lost her sense of taste," says Vu. "Then she tested positive for COVID-19."

Jeanette was moved into a room where she was isolated from the other residents. "I wanted to cry when I saw her," Dr. Vu recalls. "We thought we were going to lose her. She wasn't eating. At age 100, to get COVID, can be a death sentence."

But Dr. Vu and the nursing staff didn't give up on Jeanette. "My gut told me that she wanted to live," says Dr. Vu.

Through their layers of PPE, Dr. Vu and her team sang to Jeanette to get her to eat and drink. "She recognized us despite all of the PPE! I visited her every day," Dr. Vu says. "We took turns offering her food and drink, even throughout the night. When we got her to take a teaspoon of food or a drop of juice, it felt like a triumph."

Slowly, Dr. Vu and the nurses began to notice that Jeanette's eyes were open wider. Then, one day Jeanette had the strength to blow a kiss to Dr. Vu.

"She beat the odds," says Dr. Vu. "After a month in isolation, we graduated her so she could receive physical and occupational therapy."

"She was almost gone," says son Jeff. "But now she's able to call us via Zoom and talk to us."

In fact, on a recent Zoom call with both of her sons and their spouses, Jeanette was asked if she had any good Jewish Home gossip to share. "There's always something!" she replied with a sly smile.

"One day at a time, she's getting better," Jeff says. "We're so grateful she's doing so well."

"Jeanette was our first victory!" says Dr. Vu. "We were so happy that Jeanette recovered, that we threw her a party!"

To ensure that everyone on the team is recognized for helping Jeanette Crane recover, Dr. Vu requested that their names be listed: Luisa Lacson, Olivia Matusalem, Editha Andrada, Daisy Estrada, Johanna Duncan, Elsy Rivas, Lupita Cedillo, Marife Bautista, Ingrid Lemus, Kusum Kapoor, Sydelle Aquino.

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