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102-year-old grandma with 'that tough New York spirit' survives COVID-19

Posted at 5:34 PM, Apr 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-20 09:23:29-04

UPPER EAST SIDE, Manhattan — Some are calling it a Greek Easter Miracle.

The family of 102-year-old Sophie Avouris never thought she’d survive COVID-19 to celebrate another Greek Easter with them, but that’s exactly what happened

“Happy Easter, YaYa. We love you so much,” Elizabeth Hurley, the granddaughter of Sophie Avouris, said via FaceTime. "We can’t wait to celebrate with you in person."

The extended family of Sophie Avouris can’t believe what a great Greek Easter this is for all of them.

She was recovering from hip surgery at Mary Manning Walsh nursing home when she contracted COVID-19 last month.

Avouris was the first known COVID case at this Archcare facility. Her family never thought she’d make it but last week she was able to move out of the COVID unit and while the facility is still on lockdown, she was able to receive phone calls from family.

“We were able to wave and say Happy Easter to her,” Effie Strouthides, her daughter, told PIX11 News. “We were really delighted by this."

Avouris has been through so much in her 102 years.

One of six children born in Greece the same year that World War I ended and the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic began, she eventually immigrated to the United States and raised her family in Jackson Heights and is now still so full of life.

“She just had such a great tenacity for life,” her granddaughter said.

Her family credits her Archcare doctors and the experimental drug hydroxychloroquine with saving her life.

“She came in for a broken hip and physical therapy and she was always so jovial,” Dr. Taimur Mirza, Avouris’ attending physician at Archcare’s Mary Manning Walsh, told PIX11 News. “She got that tough New York spirit."

The family is planning to celebrate next Easter by going to their favorite Greek Orthodox cathedral with their beloved matriarch.