By: Jen Russon
Former mayor Vince Boccard came out on the right side of adversity when he was able to wheel his 97-year-old mother, and COVID-19 survivor, out of Broward Health Coral Springs last week.
Boccard said his ‘strong as an ox’ mom, Jean, managed to beat the pandemic that ravaged her body to the point of requiring nine days in the hospital, and that he never grows tired of sharing her story of recovery in such harrowing times.
“A close family friend called when he saw my mom in the news and said how nice it is to see she recovered when the news is mostly doom and gloom,” he told Coral Springs Talk.
But Boccard isn’t the only one telling this harrowing tale; his mother is also giving interviews about what it was like to beat Coronavirus.
In an interview she gave the Sun-Sentinel, Jean said doctors initially treated her for bilateral pneumonia and dehydration, but as her condition worsened, what she described as “a shot,” proved she tested positive for COVID-19.
“I didn’t even realize I had it. I was very sleepy, I couldn’t stay awake,” recalled Jean, adding that as her symptoms worsened, she found it difficult to breathe and eventually passed out.
Her caretaker called 911, where Jean, who never required a ventilator, was placed on oxygen – something she was already used to doing as a heart patient.
Broward Health Coral Springs, where Jean was hospitalized, is the same medical facility with a world-renowned breast cancer fund named for her late daughter, Lisa Boccard, who died last year after a long battle with cancer., which Jean is no stranger to herself.
In 2005, she beat kidney cancer and had since been treated for a myriad of health issues that many older adults suffer from, making them vulnerable to Coronavirus.
Data on COVID-19 deaths in Florida bear this out, with as many as 92 percent of all deaths from the virus occurring in senior citizens.
That being said, Jean’s doctors were surprised she pulled through; however, Vince said his ‘tough as nails’ mom recovering didn’t surprise him at all.
“I know she can’t wait to get back to getting her hair done and shopping. Her bad knees are really the only thing that keeps her from doing everything she’d like to do.”
He added that his mother, being the recipient of hydroxychloroquine, while hospitalized is the thing he feels saved her life, but that her doctors can’t attribute it to a single factor.
Vince said it didn’t hurt his mother is as sharp as a tack and pretty active for a woman her age.
“She’s not bad for 97,” said Vince with a laugh.
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- Jen Russon is a freelance writer and English Language Arts teacher. She has published two novels to Amazon Kindle and lives in Coral Springs with her family.
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