Angelina Friedman has miraculously survived two pandemics in her lifetime

By Jason Duaine Hahn
April 28, 2020 04:06 PM
Credit: North Westchester Restorative Therapy and Nursing Center

A woman from New York whose mother died giving birth to her during the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918 has now triumphed over coronavirus at 101 years old.

Angelina Friedman was taken to a local hospital on March 21 for a minor medical procedure and tested positive for coronavirus, a disease that has proven especially dangerous for adults over the age of 65, according to CW affiliate WPIX.

She reportedly spent a week at the hospital before being transferred back to North Westchester Restorative Therapy and Nursing Center in Lake Mohegan, where she remained in isolation until April 20, when she tested negative for the virus.

“She is not human,” daughter Joanne Merola told the outlet, adding that Friedman had a fever, but no respiratory issues. “She has super-human DNA.”

Further solidifying her claim, Merola said her mother has endured a collection of health complications over her lifetime, including a close call with cancer.

“My mother is a survivor. She survived miscarriages, internal bleeding and cancer,” Merola told WPIX. “She and my dad had cancer at the same time. She survived. He didn’t.”

Angelina Friedman

Coronavirus is now the second pandemic Friedman has lived through.

Nearly 102 years ago, Friedman’s mother died giving birth to her while aboard a ship making its way from Italy to New York. Her death came amid the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918, which killed more than 50 million people, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Unlike coronavirus, the Spanish flu killed many healthy people and children younger than 5.

After the ship reached New York, Friedman and two of her sisters were reunited with their father in Brooklyn.

“She was one of 11 children,” Merola told the outlet of her mother. “She’s the last one surviving.”

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Merola said she has not been able to visit her mother since February, just before social distancing rules went into place around the country. Because Friedman has trouble hearing, they can’t speak on the phone.

If she could say one thing to her mom, Merola said she would encourage her to remain strong.

“If my mother could see this,” Merola told WPIX, “I’d say, ‘Keep going, Ma! You’re going to outlive us all.’”

As of Tuesday afternoon, the United States has seen more than 1.1 million cases and 70,338 deaths since the deadly disease began to spread around the country, according to a New York Times database.

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