New Jersey coronavirus update: 105-year-old survives COVID, offers advice to long life

Coronavirus Update New Jersey
OCEAN COUNTY, New Jersey (WABC) -- A woman in Ocean County who tested positive for COVID-19 on her 105th birthday last month has recovered and now has some words of advice.

DeClerck, a resident at Mystic Meadows Rehab and Nursing Center in Little Egg Harbor, New Jersey, said she feels "very fortunate" to beat COVID.

The centenarian, filled with wisdom, strength and grit, is a survivor in every sense.

She lives to tell the tale after not one, but two pandemics.

"She was 2-years-old when the Spanish Flu happened," said her granddaughter Shawn Laws O'Neil. "She was born and raised in Hawaii, and that's where she was in 1918. She survived that."

She has now lived through two World Wars and two pandemics, and at 105 years old, she is even getting the hang of Zoom.

So what's her secret?

"I don't have a secret, all I do is pray, pray, pray -- and don't eat junk food," DeClerck said.

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"She's outlived three cardiologists and three husbands," said her daughter-in-law Lillie J. Laws. "She's just an amazing person, and she's just made of steel, I guess."

Steel bolstered by her Catholic faith, the occasional See's Candy and her homemade boozy concoction: gin-soaked raisins.

"She said it kept her free of disease," Laws said. "She's never had cancer. She has all her own teeth."

In fact, she didn't get a cavity until she turned 99.

She is now fully vaccinated against COVID and says she will continue her daily prayers for everyone.

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