107-Year-Old Beats COVID-19

This isn't the first pandemic Tillie Dybing has faced. She can remember the 1918 Spanish flu as well. KARE's Chris Hrapsky reports.

(NBC News) — If you ask Tillie Dybing about the pandemic, she might reply, ‘which one?’

She was not yet 5 years old when the 1918 flu pandemic hit her dirt floor North Dakota farm home.

“My folks got sick and they were in bed, and I’d run into the bed and my dad said, ‘Can’t you find another place to run,’” Tillie recalls on a Zoom call from her Detroit Lakes, Minnesota community home.

It was the first of many trials Tillie would endure.

She lost several siblings in their infancy. She survived three major floods in Minot, N.D., lost her husband in her 80s and beat uterine cancer at 95 years old.

This summer, she turned 107, celebrating the occasion with nurses while isolated from family to keep the coronavirus from hitting the nursing home.

And it worked, until one day in November.

“I tried to call her Saturday morning, and I tried calling all day and the nurse said she’s sleeping,” said Tillie’s daughter Susan Berke. “We were really concerned and thought, well, this is probably it.”

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