Shelley Gunn describes her Polish grandmother, Jennie Stejna, as having a feisty spirit. Stejna certainly displayed that spirit as the 103-year-old woman recently survived a bout with the coronavirus.
Three weeks ago, Gunn said Stejna was the first to test positive for coronavirus in her nursing home. She had a low-grade fever and was moved to a separate ward.
Stejna didn’t really grasp or understand COVID-19, Gunn said, but did know she was very ill. Gunn said there was always a staff member by her side.
“We were hopeful, but then things started to trend downward so we were bracing for the worst. She lost her appetite and getting her to stay hydrated was challenging,” David Stejna, 49, says of his grandmother, who he says uses a wheelchair and is legally blind but still has a very sharp mind.
As Stejna’s condition worsened, Gunn said they called to say what they thought were their final goodbyes. She thanked Stejna for everything she had done for her. When Adam asked whether Stejna was ready to go to heaven, she replied, “Hell yes.”
But on May 13th, Gunn said she got good news — Stejna had recovered.
She woke up and proclaimed, “I’m not sick.” Annoyed at the crowd of people in her room, she told them to “get the hell out of here,” according to Dave.
“This feisty old Polish grandmother of ours officially beat the coronavirus,” Shelley’s husband, Adam Gunn, said. “We’re truly very thankful.”
The staff gave Stejna an ice cold Bud Light to celebrate, something she loved but hadn’t had in a long time, Gunn said.
Stejna was the first resident in the nursing home to recover. They still have 33 cases of coronavirus, Gunn said.
Stejna has lived all her life in Massachusetts. Her husband, Teddy, died in 1992 at age 82. Married in 1938, they were together for 54 years.
She was an avid bingo player, enjoyed reading and loved to crochet until she got arthritis. Gunn said she has quite a few blankets Stejna made. She is also a “hardcore Boston sports fan.”
“She used to sit outside and listen to the Red Sox on the radio,” Gunn said.
Stejna has two children, three grandchildren, four great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren, Gunn said.