Seattle nursing home resident Geneva Wood has beaten and is recovering from the coronavirus. Her family wants to give hope to older Americans who are most likely to come down with a severe case of the virus.


Geneva Wood, a 90-year-old great-great-grandmother came down with a fever mid-February and then tested positive for coronavirus.

According to her family:

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“We were stricken and in shock. A virus that had only been a scary, ambiguous monster for us up until now was right here, in our family member. News and reports from local and national officials had us believing this was a death sentence. After all, she’d fought through; this virus would be the thing to take her? Honestly, we were mad.”

Geneva responded like a fighter:

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“I’m going to fight this for my family and make everyone proud.”

A family member, Cami, told Geneva’s story:

“She has always been a survivor and very determined. When she fell and broke her hip, I knew she would be disappointed and be a bit down for a little while, [but] I knew that she would pull herself up again and get busy to get better. [But when] they took her to Harborview and put her in isolation is when I started to worry. She needs her family. She doesn’t do well by herself. I was afraid this would be her straw and she would give up. She did. She declined until the doctor called with concerns that they felt she wasn’t going to make it and for us to come to the hospital.”

The family “suited up” for a visit when Geneva began crying for her family:

“When she started crying for us, the nurses got permission for us to go through protocol and suit up for a visit. It was a gift and, at the same time cruel. We could touch her hand, rub her arm through the gloves. No hugging. Talk softly, slowly, and comfort her. Let her know we were all okay and not to worry about us. She wanted to tell each of us goodbye, tell us how proud she was of us.”

The family got “cruel news” from the doctors:

“We got the cruel news that there would be no further physical contact with her,” said daughter Cami. “We would no longer be allowed to suit up and physically go into her room, rub her arm, or hold her hand. We wouldn’t even be able to stand on the other side of the glass and check to see if she was comfortable or restless. We would no longer be able to physically see her.”

“Not being able to see her was extremely hard. When we were allowed to view her through the window, it helped, but it also was heartbreaking. To be so close and not be able to reach out and touch her? Brutal. When she reached out her arm, and you’re on the other side of a wall…I can’t even put it into words; it tears your heart out.”

Cami said Geneva has a “fighting spirit” and would give the middle finger to the virus:

“Who are we to question the fighting spirit of a tough ol’ Texas coot! If anyone’s going to give the middle finger to a killer virus, it’s her.”

“At one point, I’m told that she was seen waving her hands in the air yelling. I ain’t dead yet! I’m gonna die of thirst before I die of this Coronavirus!” 

The family says Geneva now tests negative for coronavirus:

“My mother continues to improve and amaze everyone, [but] she continues to have a cough so cannot be labeled as symptom-free. She has tested negative and could possibly be discharged by the end of next week. She will probably have this cough for the remainder of her life.”

“It’s possible she could be listed as symptom-free tomorrow. We’ll take possible. She’s still in isolation until listed as clear and recovered, but accepting (dare I say demanding) phone calls to catch up with friends and family.”

“If she continues on her current path, she could possibly be discharged to go home as soon as possible. How’s that for good news?! Okay, great news! I think I just exhaled. Never underestimate the power of thoughts and prayers! Keep it up; it’s working!”

My family and I are sharing this story because we feel it’s important to give people some hope.

Getting this virus is not necessarily a death sentence for the elderly or anybody. Be more afraid of spreading it. It’s a wake-up call to take care of each other. Find positive ways to help others out.

Try your best to stay positive, find the good in the bad, thank the caregivers, and spend time with nurses, so they know they are not just taking care of another sick patient.

Keep fighting Grandma; we love you. Keep fighting everyone…we love you all.

And for the love of all things precious people, just stay home.

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