95-year-old woman defies odds to beat COVID-19

"She’s one tough cookie," her grandson said.

A 95-year-old woman diagnosed with COVID-19 beat the odds and is now recovering.

Described as independent and lively by her grandson, Ruth Barmash normally lives on her own in Toronto, but was rushed to a local hospital when she started experiencing coronavirus symptoms after a caretaker she'd had contact with tested positive for the disease.

"She just felt terrible and like there was no life in her all the sudden," Billy Silverstein, Barmash's grandson said. "Her oxygen levels were low."

Barmash tested positive for the deadly virus upon arrival at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. Silverstein, 29, works as an internal medicine resident at the hospital and was able to keep an eye on his grandmother as her condition gradually improved, albeit from a distance.

"We made a basket full of balloons, cards and cookies for Mother's Day and her nurse brought it in since the family wasn't allowed to visit," Silverstein said.

Medical professionals determined the disease had run its course just a day later and Barmash rolled out of the hospital to the sound of cheers and applause from nurses.

The survivor was moved into a rehab facility on Monday, where she'll remain for a few more days as a precaution.

"She's in very good spirits, very grateful," Silverstein said. "She knows a lot of people have gotten very, very sick from the coronavirus and did not get so lucky. My grandma's one tough cookie."