106-year-old Sask. woman survives brush with COVID-19

When Beverly Smith heard that her 106-year-old mother had been diagnosed with COVID-19, she was incredibly worried.

Last month, she was told that her mom, Rubena Wenzel, had contracted the coronavirus while living in a long-term care home in Prince Albert, Sask.

Wenzel was immediately quarantined and her daughter feared for the worst.

“That was a terrible call,” said Smith.

“It was really, really tough to take because at her age, just not that many people her age that have survived.”

To complicate things, Smith lives in Oklahoma and normally communicates with her mother through video chat. During her mother’s quarantine, the two weren’t able to speak for more than two weeks.

However, time passed and her mother’s condition kept improving.

“We’re just thinking, gosh, I mean, she really could make it,” said Smith. 

“You know, she’s pretty strong. She’s very healthy. And she’s not compromised in any way other than age. We kind of got feeling very optimistic around day 12, thinking this is going to work. She’s going to pull out.”

During her lifetime, Wenzel has managed to survive the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic and two world wars.

The good news came just before Christmas, when Wenzel was declared COVID free on Dec. 23.

“She’s always been very, very healthy and very athletic and a very healthy eater,” said Smith.

“She’s never taken more than a Tylenol a day for a swollen knee. She had that going for her.”

Rubina Wenzel with her granddaughter Ashley Dahnke (left), and daughter Bev Smith. (Beverly Smith/Submitted)

Ultimately, Wenzel doesn’t seem to be all that bothered by what happened.

“She just takes it as a matter of fact,” said Wenzel.

“She said, ‘I’m just fine.’ Like, what else would I be?” 

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