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Oregon veteran survives coronavirus, celebrates 104th birthday

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It was a very happy 104th birthday for World War II veteran William Lapschies on Wednesday.

The Lebanon, Ore., resident celebrated with family members after surviving a recent bout with the coronavirus, according to media reports.

“He is fully recovered. He is very perky – and he is very excited,” daughter Carolee Brown told OregonLive.com.

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Photos posted online showed Lapshies at his outdoor birthday bash at the Edward C. Allsworth Veterans’ Home in Lebanon, celebrating with balloons and a large “Happy Birthday” sign – while seated in his wheelchair and wearing a mask.

The party attendees practiced social distancing, except for when some nursing home staffers, who also wore masks, provided some aid to Lapschies.

The festive occasion was a little more subdued than that in 2016, when about 250 people gathered to help Lapschies mark his 100th birthday, OregonLive.com reported.

More than a dozen people linked to the veterans’ home had tested positive for the virus also known as COVID-19, FOX 12 Oregon reported. Two of those affected died, officials told the station.

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Oregon also recently saw a 95-year-old veteran in Yamhill County survive the virus.

“I survived the foxholes in Guam, I can get through this bulls—,” Bill Kelly said, according to a Facebook post by his granddaughter, Rose Ayers-Etherington.



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