New Hampshire woman who survived flu pandemic of 1918, cancer recovers from coronavirus

NASHUA, N.H (WHDH) - A 102-year-old New Hampshire woman who won her battle with coronavirus is no stranger to surviving a pandemic.

Gerry Schappals said she always feels lucky, this after surviving her battle with COVID-19 and overcoming other health issues, including the flu pandemic of 1918.

As a baby, Schappals and her mother contracted the deadly disease and became severely ill.

Her father was told that it was unlikely that she would survive, according to her daughter Julia.

But both recovered, and Schappals went on to graduate college, became a teacher, and started a family of her own in Nashua.

During her retirement, she battled bouts of breast cancer and colon cancer.

“Everything seems to fall into place,” Schappals said.

She now lives in a senior facility in Nashua, where workers say she didn’t let the virus slow her down.

“She had an incredible attitude, and she took every day and said, ‘I guess I’m sick. They told me I’m sick, but I’m not sick,'” senior living executive director Lisa Valcourt said.

Her family continues to wear masks and keep a safe distance during their visits.

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