HAMDEN, Conn — For 10 months, COVID-19 has had its grasp on the globe. And we've learned that those over the age of 70 are more susceptible to contracting Covid. So, how could a soon to be 109-year-old survive the virus?
As of Thursday, there were nearly 6,300 COVID-19 related deaths here in Connecticut. But, one resident of Whitney Manor, in Hamden, beat the odds in a very big way.
Meet Anita "Miracle" Murphy.
"Anita, do you remember when you were very sick," asked her nurse. "What," asked Murphy.
She's understandably hard of hearing, but the lifelong Hamden resident's memory is of motion.
"I love to dance," she said with a smile, as she sat in her wheelchair.
Her nurse of two years, Jennifer Coratelli, said Anita Murphy told her the keys to longevity include keeping moving, including dancing, and drinking plenty of water. Good genetics don’t hurt, either.
"I can tell you that the family members that are still around, that are asking about her and checking up on her, or most of them are in their 90.s," said Anita's nurse.
Anita and her late husband were married for 72 years and she was six years old when the Spanish flu pandemic hit in 1918.
"Isn’t that amazing," Nurse Jennifer said.
"I love to dance," Mrs. Murphy said again, as she used her fingers to show how she danced.
And, she loves her birthday. She turn's 109 February 6th.
"What kind of a birthday cake would you like me to get you," asked Nurse Jennifer. "Do you want chocolate, vanilla, and ice cream cake?"
"Ice cream," Anita said, emphatically.
After she beat Covid last spring, Hamden Mayor Curt Leng and Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz issued proclamations to honor Anita Murphy, who has one son, two grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild.
Her nurse is amazed by her resilience.
"You’re looking at 108-year-old woman and you’re like this is going to be what takes her? Nope. Look at her. Still here," the nurse said.
According to the Whitney Rehabilitation & Care Center staff, Anita Murphy appears to be the oldest COVID-19 survivor in America.