At age 6, Anna Del Priore recovered from the Spanish Flu. At 107, she’s now recovered from COVID-19.
Her story made national news this week after an article in the Asbury Park Press was picked up by USA Today, but to the community team at Brighton Gardens of Middletown New Jersey, Del Priore has always been a star, known for her love of dancing, endless energy and beautiful smile.
“She’s a month shy of 108 and she gets up, combs her hair, walks and dances,” said Laura Halle, Reminiscence Coordinator at Brighton Gardens.
Jerry Carino at the Asbury Park Press reports that Del Priore was born in Brooklyn to deaf parents who taught sign language. She was a seamstress, and her late husband, Frank, was a professional tango dancer. Del Priore’s granddaughter, Darlene Jasmine, grew up spending time with her grandmother in Brooklyn, NY. She said that, ever since she can remember, her grandmother has been “constantly moving.”
“We always walked,” Jasmine said, “to the grocery store, to the bakery. Every night she would make a homemade meal from scratch.”
When Del Priore’s family found out she had tested positive for COVID-19, they feared she may not have the strength to fight the virus. But Anna has recovered, and the team at Brighton Gardens is thrilled to see her smiling and dancing again. Amazingly, Anna’s younger sister, 105-year-old Helen Guzzone of Queens, New York, also survived both illnesses.
“People don’t believe me,” said Halle. “It’s really been amazing to watch her journey. For the rest of my life, I’ll be able to say I met and loved someone who’s made it this far and stayed healthy.”