Eastside News

90-year-old Kirkland woman survives coronavirus, reunites with family

KIRKLAND, Wash. — An elderly Kirkland woman who survived coronavirus finally got to hug her daughters Sunday.

Geneva Wood, 90, was declared free of the virus, and even had a sign outside her hospital room, "COVID-19 CLEAR."

"She never gave up. She is a fighter, she is a survivor, " said Cami Neidigh, Wood’s daughter."She’s weak and she’s lost a lot of weight. To give her a hug, she’s so fragile but it was great. She wouldn’t let go it was a nice, long, hard hug."

Wood had a stroke in December and was taken to Evergreen Hospital. A month later she was taken to Life Care Center of Kirkland to recover. She learned to walk and talk again. She was improving so much she was days from going home when the coronavirus outbreak was discovered at the nursing home.

"To fight back to be able to walk and talk. She was going on home on Monday and they had the lockdown on Saturday. She was so close to walking out that door. A few days later she's at Harborview fighting for her life," said Neidigh.

In what now could be an event that saved her life, Wood fell at Life Care and broke her hip. She was taken to Evergreen Medical Center where her family asked for her to be tested for coronavirus. She was taken back to Life Care. The test came back positive and when she got a fever, she was taken to Harborview Medical Center.

At first, Cami Neidigh and her siblings could see their mom through a window. Soon, the rules changed as the hospital dealt with the growing number of cases.

On March 11, Wood's condition declined to the point doctors had her family come to say goodbye. Neidigh described her mom reaching at them from the other side of the glass. Seeing the desperation and grief, hospital staff allowed Neidigh, wearing full protective gear, to hug her mom one last time.

"She was crying for us and reaching her arms out to us and crying," said Neidigh, "They finally let us suit up and go in one at a time and talk to her. She gave us her last instructionsa nd she was saying her goodbyes and we were all at peace."

But soon Wood improved, and kept improving. Neidigh says her mom credits the potato soup, a family recipe, she asked them to bring her. She said her mom wanted them to be proud of her for fighting her way back.

Neidigh was not able to see her mom for 12 days. On Sunday, Wood was declared free of the virus and got to hug both of her daughters.

She is expected to get to go home from the hospital on Tuesday. She will return to her apartment with the help of her family.

They hope her recovery is a story of hope.

“This has gone world-wide because we’re trying to keep it positive,” said Neidigh. “It’s not political, it’s a message of hope and keep fighting and take care of each other.”

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