Sylvia Goldscholl lived through the Spanish flu pandemic as a child in New York.

By Rachel DeSantis
May 18, 2020
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MITSU YASUKAWA/NORTHJERSEY.COM

An 108-year-old woman in New Jersey who says she was “determined to survive” has beaten coronavirus, making her among the oldest people to recover.

Sylvia Goldscholl received a shout-out from New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy at his daily press briefing on Thursday following her successful battle with COVID-19.

“A tremendous life, a tremendous spirit, and a tremendous show of strength. A tremendous role model for all of the rest of us,” Murphy said. “So, to you, Sylvia, we send you all of our best for many, many more years to come. How about perhaps another 108?”

Goldscholl — who has lived at the Allendale Community for Senior Living since 2007 — was moved to the facility’s isolation wing after she tested positive for the virus, News 12 New Jersey reported.

Within weeks, however, she had recovered, and was released.

“It’s very dangerous,” she told the outlet. “I survived everything because I was determined to survive.”

Goldscholl, who grew up and lived in the Bronx for most of her life, said she was the oldest of four children — and “the smartest one from the bunch.”

She never married or had kids of her own, but is a beloved aunt to her nieces and nephews, according to NorthJersey.com.

“I am a survivor. I’ve got to come out on the top of every list,” she told News 12.

Though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said that people aged 65 years and older are at a higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19, Goldscholl is not the only centenarian who’s beaten the virus.

New Mexico man Phil Corio, 108, survived coronavirus, reported ABC affiliate KOAT, as did Marilee Asher, a 107-year-old woman from Washington, D.C., ABC affiliate WJLA reported.

New Jersey, where Goldscholl lives, is the state that’s been hit second-hardest after New York, with at least 142,704 cases and 9,946 deaths attributed to the virus, according to The New York Times.

The information in this story is accurate as of press time. However, as the situation surrounding COVID-19 continues to evolve, it's possible that some data have changed since publication. While Health is trying to keep our stories as up-to-date as possible, we also encourage readers to stay informed on news and recommendations for their own communities by using the CDCWHO, and their local public health department as resources.

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