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.

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.

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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