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‘Grandpa Bill’s pretty hardcore:’ Veteran, 95, who lived through Great Depression, WWII, beat COVID-19

Veteran (Getty Images)

SALEM, Ore. — A 95-year-old veteran who lived through the Great Depression and World War II beat the coronavirus.

Bill Kelly of Oregon, already facing underlying medical conditions, including kidney disease, a congenital heart condition and high blood pressure, is recovering at home, The Oregonian reported.

“Grandpa Bill’s pretty hardcore,” his granddaughter, Rose Ayers-Etherington, 41, told the newspaper.

In a Facebook post, Ayers-Etherington revealed her grandfather’s diagnosis but added he was “kicking it in the butt.”

“In his words, ‘I survived the foxholes of Guam. I can get through this [coronavirus] bull—,’” she wrote. “He has strong mental resolve. He has seen tough times and knows how to get through them.”

He started getting sick with a low-grade fever on March 15; he was diagnosed with the coronavirus on March 17.

Kelly spent the first week in isolation, and his family said they treated Kelly “like a leper.”

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death. The vast majority of people recover.

The U.S. death toll from the coronavirus climbed past 3,500 Tuesday, eclipsing China’s official count.

Kelly’s granddaughter warned others to take COVID-19 seriously.

“It’s real and it’s here and it needs to be respected,” she wrote.

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