Oregon veteran celebrates 104th birthday after coronavirus recovery

LEBANON, Ore. (KATU/CNN) - An Oregon veteran has overcome his battle with coronavirus, and he was able to celebrate his 104th birthday as a result.

William Lapschies is alive to see his 104th birthday following a tough battle with COVID-19. (Source: KATU/CNN)

William Lapschies lives at a veterans’ home in Lebanon, where he was one of 15 who tested positive for coronavirus in early March. Two died, and some weren’t sure if he would survive.

His family feared the worst when he became extremely sick at the eight-day mark of the illness, but he felt much better Wednesday as his family celebrated along with him from a distance.

“Pretty good,” Lapschies said when he was asked how he felt. “I made it.”

Lapschies’ son-in-law Jim Brown believes the 104-year-old can be an inspiring example for the thousands looking to overcome COVID-19.

“We’re hoping this goes out to all the people out there who are sick and have this problem," Brown said. "If Bill can survive this at 104, anybody can. Step up, you can do it.”

Family members thanked the staff at the veterans’ home for showing love and compassion during difficult times.

Copyright 2020 KATU via CNN. All rights reserved.