“Prayer. Prayer. Prayer,” she offers. “One step at a time. No junk food.”
In a statement to the media, she mentioned, all you need to do is, “Fill a jar with nine raisins a day after it sits for nine days.”
According to her children and grandchildren, it’s been a ritual of the house, like drinking aloe juice straight from the container and brushing her teeth with baking soda.
“We would just think, ‘Grandma, what are you doing? You’re crazy,’” said her 53-year-old granddaughter, Shawn Laws O’Neil, of Los Angeles. “Now the laugh is on us. She has beaten everything that’s come her way.”
Born in 1916 in Hawaii to parents who came from Guatemala and Spain, she lived through the Spanish flu, two world wars and the deaths of three husbands and a son.
She moved to Wyoming, California and back to Hawaii before finally arriving in New Jersey, where she lived with her oldest son. After turning 90, she moved to an adult community in Manahawkin, New Jersey, along the Jersey Shore, where she remained active until she injured herself in a fall about four years ago.
DeClerck is the oldest resident of South Jersey, and on 25th Jan, her 105th birthday, she learned that she had contracted the virus, the day after she had gotten her second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
According to Mystic Meadows Rehabilitation and Nursing, initially, she was scared and did not like being isolated. And within two weeks she was back in her room, holding her rosary beads and wearing her trademark sunglasses and knit hat.
To her two surviving sons, five grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren and 11 great-great grandchildren, who call her Grandma Lucia, she has a new moniker, O’Neil said: “The 105-year-old badass who kicked COVID.”
Recently, she got a shout-out from Gov. Phil Murphy, who described a phone call with her during a coronavirus news briefing.
DeClerck is one of 62 residents of Mystic Meadows to have contracted the virus; four patients died, including three who were receiving hospice care.
Inputs from NYC News Service