‘We’re saving lives’: Spanish Flu Survivor gets COVID vaccine
EUGENE, Ore. (KEZI) — A 103-year-old woman received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in her building. Something she’s been waiting for for over a year now.
Bernice Homan lives at Willamette Oaks, a retirement home in Eugene, Oregon. Staying in good health is a priority for her, as she exercises her mind and her body daily.
In fact, the coronavirus is not the first viral pandemic she’s faced.
Originally, she was born in South Dakota, one year before the influenza pandemic, or Spanish Flu, infected one in every four people on the planet, killing at least 50 million.
Homan herself became one of the infected when she was young.
“I was born in 17 and that’s when the Spanish Flu was, and the doctor was at our house so I’m sure I had it.”
The doctor told Homan’s mother she wouldn’t make it through the night. But, her mother- like Homan- wasn’t giving up that easily.
After hearing that pumpkin seeds were helpful in fighting the flu, Homan’s mother got to work.
“She didn’t have a pumpkin in the house so she started up the street and stopped at every house on the block,” said Homan.
Her mother eventually made a pumpkin seed tea, spoon-feeding it to Homan until the next morning.
“I opened my eyes and the doctor when he came back and couldn’t believe it.”
Now, more than a century later, Homan was the first in her retirement home to be vaccinated against COVID-19; and she’s encouraging others to get it.
“It’s a very serious disease, I’d do anything to prevent it,” said Homan. “I think we should stop it from spreading any more than it is and do everything we can. We’re saving lives.”