86-year-old Italian woman's recovery from COVID-19 offers glimmer of hope in Northern Italy

The woman had been hospitalized for seven weeks with the illness.

March 26, 2020, 10:50 AM

An 86-year-old woman in the crisis-hit region of Lombardy, Italy, has made a full recovery after being hospitalized with the novel coronavirus, offering a rare glimmer of hope as the country continues to struggle with the pandemic.

The elderly woman, identified as “Gianna” by Elia Delmiglio, the mayor of Casalpusterlengo, had been hospitalized for seven weeks after contracting COVID-19 during an unrelated hospital stay.

Delmiglio captured the moment on video when Gianna was finally released from the town's local hospital on Tuesday, saying that “among the many stories of pain and suffering, Gianna's recovery gives us a great deal of hope.”

“In these weeks she fought with all her forces and thanks to an unbelievable work by doctors and nurses, she managed to recover from coronavirus,” Delmiglio wrote in a Facebook post. “A big thank you to all medical operators that work in our structures and help people in need with a great deal of dedication, love and competence… Forza Gianna, and all the people that are still fighting.”

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In the video, Gianna is seen being wheeled through the hospital to rounds of applause from the staff.

In Italian, a tearful Delmiglio can be heard saying: "Hello Gianna, great! 86 years and you don't feel like it. Is everything OK? We can't hug you but ... don't make me cry now. You must be happy because you were very lucky. Seven weeks out of the world. Send me a kiss with your hand, can you do that?"

Gianna’s inspiring recovery offers a great deal of hope to a region of Italy that has been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The country now has 74, 386 confirmed cases of novel coronavirus and 7,503 deaths, according to the latest data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

At least 9,362 Italians have also recovered from the illness, which can have serious consequences for the elderly and those with underlying health conditions.

ABC News' Phoebe Nathanson contributed to this report.

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