London, March 29 (IANS) A 108-year-old woman, who survived the two World Wars and the outbreak of the Spanish flu, died within hours of testing positive for coronavirus, becoming the UK’s oldest fatality due to the disease, a media report said.
Hilda Churchill had been self-isolating at the Kenyon Lodge care home in Salford, Greater Manchester, for more than a week, but began showing minor symptoms three or four days ago, said the London-based Metro newspaper in the report on Saturday.
Her family were hoping that she would pull through in time to celebrate her 109th birthday on April 5.
But she passed away on Saturday morning, less than 24 hours after she tested positive for the coronavirus.
Her grandson Anthony had been planning a special birthday surprise and said “the most devastating thing is that we were not able to be there with her in her time of need, when she’s been with all of us through ours”.
“It’s heartbreaking for us. Her birthday was just weeks away and we were all so excited… I think we all need to be more careful. She was a fighter, and she was fine, just mild symptoms,” the Metro newspaper quoted the grandson as saying.
Hilda was a mother of four, grandmother of 11 and great-grandmother of 14.
The UK has so far reported 17,312 confirmed coronavirus cases, with 1,019 deaths.