A 105-year-old woman became Turkey’s latest centenarian to survive her brush with COVID-19 after doctors officially declared the senior woman recovered from the coronavirus within five days of diagnosis.
According to Anadolu Agency (AA), Huriye Başkapan had just arrived at her son’s summer home in Istanbul’s Şile district in order to avoid crowds when she suddenly felt fatigued and lost her appetite.
After her daughter and grandson, who were accompanying her during her stay, developed similar symptoms, the family visited a nearby hospital, where they tested positive for COVID-19. Doctors advised Başkapan to continue her treatment at the hospital after they diagnosed developing problems in her liver and kidneys.
Speaking to the AA, Başkapan said it only took her five days to recover from COVID-19, a disease that affects people at her age at an exponential rate and has killed thousands half her age.
For her doctors, Başkapan’s recovery was a surprise too, as she suffered from several chronic diseases, putting her even more at risk.
“COVID-19 could be deadly for senior people and for patients with chronic diseases. Considering she is 105 years old and has several chronic conditions, she overcame the disease pretty well. It also helped that her family followed every advice we had to the letter during her stay,” Dr. Emre Özge said, who was assigned to Başkapan during her stay.
According to Özge, while Başkapan’s fast recovery was remarkable, it was the “aggressive” two-day treatment regimen that significantly increased her chances of survival against COVID-19.
Following her recovery, Başkapan joined a growing list of centenarians who have recovered from COVID-19. The oldest person to survive COVID-19 in Turkey is believed to be Havahan Karadeniz, who recovered from COVID-19 at 107.
The exact age of the centenarians remains a topic of dispute due to errors in documentation or missing paperwork since their birth certificates date back a century. But, experts still agree that the sheer number of senior citizens recovering from COVID-19 is an impressive feat.
Recounting her experience, Başkapan said both her diagnosis and her recovery happened fast.
“My disease didn’t last for long. I didn’t even understand what was happening,” she said as she thanked the hospital staff for their care.
“They look after us, I pray to God to grant them a long life.”
The doctor said Başkapan’s daughter and grandson had tested positive for COVID-19 too, but they both have recovered.