109-Year-Old Great-Great-Grandma Celebrates Birthday After Surviving COVID

Katie Bunio just celebrated a monumental birthday and recovered from the coronavirus.

by Isabella Bridie DeLeo
Credit: CBS and Twitter

Katie Bunio, a 109-year-old woman from Edmonton, Alberta, has a lot to celebrate. For one, she has now recovered from

COVID-19 after contracting the virus at her long-term care facility, Shepherd’s Care Foundation’s Mill Woods, which has now reported more than 100 infections. And secondly, Bunio’s recovery from COVID-19 just happened to coincide with her 109th birthday. By October 30, her birthday, she had been declared virus-free for three days. Bunio celebrated the date with friends and family (and there’s a lot of them!), virtually. She is a great-great-grandmother with an impressive family legacy. She has four daughters, 13 grand-children, 30-great-grandchildren and seven great-great-grandchildren, according to the CBC. Her grandson, Brent Mattice, talked about Bunio, saying,“She is absolutely a wonderful lady and still with lots of vigour.” He added that her recovery just in time for her 109th birthday was “the best gift we could ever expect.” Bunio enjoys playing cards and puzzles, and her family attributes some of her longevity to growing up on a homestead and working as a farmer. Mattice said, “she’s been a super, super role model for us young guys that even think about getting that old” and that he’s “expecting more amazing days down the road” for his grandmother. When Bunio was asked how she feels on her birthday, her response was: “the same as nine.”

She was born in Alberta, Canada on October 30, 1911, which means that she has now, remarkably, survived two pandemics: The 1918 Flu Pandemic and COVID-19. The 1918 Flu tended to affect young people the hardest, whereas COVID-19 can be particularly serious for older folks and people who are immunocompromised–although, it can seriously affect anyone of any age, especially now that COVID cases are surging across the world. The United States is currently reporting the highest number of coronavirus cases globally, with 93, 581 new infections reported on Tuesday, November 3. Even thorough the second wave of COVID-19 poses a particularly worrying trend, there is certainly a glimmer of good news with remarkable stories like Katie Bunio’s.