HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — A 100-year-old World War II veteran in Henrico has won his battle against COVID-19.
Lloyd Falk was discharged from Henrico Doctor’s Hospital Wednesday after being hospitalized for 58 days. Falk’s family says he served during the historic D-Day victory on the beaches of Normandy in France.
The veteran was admitted on March 24 and was one of the first COVID-19 cases the hospital saw. While hospitalized, Falk lost his wife to the virus. The hospital said he stayed strong and survived.
“Despite losing his wife of 74 years to the virus a few weeks ago, Mr. Falk continued to stay strong, defying the odds and surviving his fight against COVID-19,” Henrico Doctor’s posted on their Facebook page.
Hospital staff honored Falk’s late wife and his win against the virus by lining up the hallways and cheering him on as he exited the hospital. In a sweet message posted to Facebook, the veteran said the hospital staff was so helpful and he appreciates them.
“You’ve been so helpful, I really do appreciate it,” Falk said in the video.
It’s an unbelievable ending to Falk’s two month long battle with COVID-19. Hospital staff are heard applauding Falk as he was wheeled out of the hospital on Wednesday.
“All of us were just emotional. We were just so happy, you know, that he made it,” the nurse who was by Falk’s side almost every day, Heather Pitts, told 8News on Thursday.
The hospital’s CEO is seen honoring Falk for his service by placing a World War II veteran hat on his head.
“The fact that he went through all of that and then survived this virus as well, he truly is a fighter,” Pitts said. “Some days we were really concerned that he wouldn’t make it through this virus.”
It wasn’t an easy battle. Falk began his journey “very sick” with a chronic cough, fatigue, and no appetite, according to Pitts.
“Maybe three weeks ago he really started to turn around. His color looked better, he was able to feed himself and he had an appetite,” she said.
It was an emotional journey for Falk as well after his wife of almost 75 years lost her battle to COVID-19 just a few weeks ago.
“My team actually was able to squeeze both of them into this tiny little room before she passed so they could spend quality time together,” the nurse said.
In the hospital’s video, their daughter is seen wiping away tears. “I think it gives all of us hope because we’ve heard so many things about this virus, but to see someone who’s 100 years old survive,” Pitts said, “he was feeling good, he was waving, it was so rewarding.”
Falk will now undergo rehabilitation and is on the road to recovery.
WATCH: Hospital staff honor Falk and his late wife by lining up the hallways and cheering him on as he exited the hospital.