Moving send-off as 94-year-old virus patient recovers
A 94-year-old woman diagnosed with COVID-19 was today given a standing ovation by hospital staff who cared for her in Melbourne.
Maureen Appleby was initially admitted with broken ribs after a fall, unaware she had contracted the deadly infection.
After her diagnosis and one week in the COVID-19 ward, she left The Austin Hospital in Heidelberg on Wednesday afternoon.
"I've fought it back, I've got there," the great, great grandmother told Nine today.
"Take life as it comes and just fight back."
Associate Professor Jason Trubiano, head of the dedicated unit, said she had "defied all odds".
"All the data would suggest that Maureen would be the typical patient that doesn't do well with COVID-19," he told reporters on Wednesday.
"She's over 90 and really that's an amazing effort to be able to survive that."
He said Ms Appleby learnt how to use FaceTime for the first time to keep in contact with her relatives.
Prof Trubiano said the 94-year-old was a "nurse and doctor favourite" and joined in for a daily photo with staff.
"We loved Maureen," he said.
Ms Appleby said she believed "good willpower, good strength (and) good genes" had aided her virus battle.
Doctors believe she caught the disease from her son, John, who has also fully recovered.
"I'm just glad she's alive, that's the main thing," he told Seven.
Ms Appleby said the doctors and nurses were "just wonderful" and headed home to the nearby suburb of Rosanna.
There were eight new cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Victoria on Wednesday, bringing the state's total to 1299.
According to the Department of Health and Human Services, more than 87 per cent of patients have recovered, or 1137 cases.
Health Minister Jenny Mikakos said 72,000 Victorians have been tested and urged people to stay at home.
There are 1,299 cases of #COVID19 in Victoria & sadly 14 deaths. 132 cases may indicate community transmission. 39 people are in hospital, inc 18 in ICU. 1,137 people have recovered & > 72,000 Victorians have been tested. Our message is clear: Stay. At. Home. #springst— Jenny Mikakos MP #StayHomeSaveLives (@JennyMikakos) April 15, 2020
The Federal Government states those "who are, or are more likely to be, at higher risk of serious illness if they get the virus" are people aged 65 and older with chronic medical conditions, people aged 70 and older, people with compromised immune systems, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 50 and older with one or more chronic medical conditions.
Fourteen people have died in Victoria of the 63 coronavirus deaths nationwide. Earlier this month, a man aged in his 50s died in one of the state's hospitals, becoming the youngest COVID-19 victim in Australia to date.
Originally published as Moving send-off as patient, 94, recovers
How’s this send off for 94yo Maureen. She is being released from The Austin after fighting off COVID-19. She spent a week on the ward, but is finally well enough to be released today #7newsmelb pic.twitter.com/iAwqaWfwda— Teegan Dolling (@tdolling) April 15, 2020