NOEL KING, HOST:
And now we have a story about a survivor.
EFFIE STROUTHIDES: She was born in 1918, when the Spanish flu had begun in Europe. She survived that, of course, and World War II, the Depression.
KING: After all that, Sophie Avouris immigrated from Greece to New York City in the '50s. And then in March, a few weeks after she turned 102, she was diagnosed with coronavirus. Her daughter, Effie Strouthides, didn't have much hope.
STROUTHIDES: We just didn't think she would be able to make it. The doctor told us we couldn't come to visit her. But if it gets really serious and towards the end, they would allow us to come and see her. So we were prepared for that.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
Avouris was at Mary Manning Walsh nursing home in Manhattan, where she was already familiar to her doctor, Taimur Mirza.
TAIMUR MIRZA: She's a very talkative lady. She's the person that will often come up to the desk and start up a conversation with the nurse or with myself. She speaks Greek only. So in my case, I use google translate on my phone. And when she stopped doing that is when I got worried.
INSKEEP: She got a fever that day. She tested positive and moved to a COVID floor. Through phone calls and video chats, her daughter saw her get worse.
STROUTHIDES: The second time I spoke to her, she kept saying how sick she felt and that she couldn't even talk on the phone.
KING: The CDC says that 80% of people who died of COVID-19 in this country are 65 or older. But despite her age and despite her congestive heart failure, Avouris got better after two weeks. Dr. Mirza has no idea why. But he gives her the credit.
MIRZA: She is just a very strong patient. And she had a big part in her own recovery here.
STROUTHIDES: Even when she was, like, really sick, the doctors said she was still kind of spry. She would joke around a little bit or smile (laughter) when he would come in. And I thought, yeah, that's my mother.
KING: Her daughter and her doctor marveling over Sophie Avouris, who survived COVID-19 at the age of 102.
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