Meet the 106-year-old Spanish abuela who survived two pandemics, a century apart

Meet the 106-year-old Spanish abuela who survived two pandemics, a century apart
Photo by Cristian Newman on Unsplash
When Ana del Valle was just a small child she was struck down by the notorious Spanish flu. And survived.

Now, over a century later and at the grand old age of 106, she has survived another global pandemic.

The grandmother, who will celebrate her 107th birthday in October was among residents at her nursing home in Ronda in Andalusia who tested positive to covid-19 in March.

Her daughter-in-law, Paqui Sánchez, told her local TV station CharryTV in Ronda, about the miraculous recovery.

Pictured above with three of her grandchildren, Ana will turn 107 on October 20th, 2020.

“She is a super granny, a fighter. She has tested negative to her third test for the coronavirus. We were told by the doctors, one day she will die but it won’t today and it won’t be of covid-19”.

In an interview with Spanish news agency Efe, Sánchez, shareddetails about Ana’s experience living through the Spanish flu pandemic that swept the globe in 1918 and claimed somewhere between 17 million to 50 million, and possibly as high as 100 million lives.

“She was a country girl aged about seven and said that at that time everyone in the household had it bad. She went out to collect some milk from a nearby farm and collapsed under an oak tree. Hours later her mother found her with a high fever.”

But she survived and 100 years later, she has become the oldest woman in Spain, possibly even the world, to recover in the latest pandemic.

“We were first told on March 9th that family visits were suspended at the residential home where she has lived since 2012,” explained Sánchez to Efe.

“Ten days later we were informed that all the elderly residents would be tested because several of the carers at the centre were infected.”

On March 20th the family were informed that their relative was among those who had tested positive and would  be transferred to a special unit for care in La Linea.

Last week she was given the all clear and discharged.

She said the family were moved to share the good news story.  “This is a word of encouragement, of reassurance. Do not lose hope,” she said.


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