WW2 veteran, 98, beats coronavirus – becoming oldest Brit to survive disease

A World War II veteran and 98-year-old great-grandad has recovered from coronavirus after testing positing a week ago.

Jack Bowden, 98, will celebrate his milestone 99th birthday in May fit and healthy after he beat all odds and fought off COVID-19 in just a week.

The former pharmacist, who worked on production of Penicillin at the Royal Navy Medical School during the Second World War, was initially taken to an isolation ward after his test results came back positive for coronavirus.

But Jack was quickly returned to his nursing home in Bolton on Friday after his condition significantly improved.

The recovery will come as a shock to some of the 1.5million old and vulnerable people Boris Johnson has advised the NHS to write to.

Mark Bowden, Jack’s youngest child, said: “Myself and my partner were due to cut his hair last week, but we thought that they may well be in lockdown so we phoned the nursing home last Monday.

"They said that they were not in lockdown but my father had been poorly during the night so I told him we would have to put off the haircut.

“He's suffered from urine infections over the past 4-5 years, but he's getting better at managing them.

“The doctor spoke to me and had concerns that he was getting confused.

“He was admitted to hospital and was treated for a suspected urine infection, they felt he improved a lot over the week.

"The doctors told me that they had tested him for COVID-19.

“On the Wednesday when my brother rang me to say that his test result was positive, I couldn't believe it.

"I spoke to my father on the phone and he said: 'I think I've actually got the real thing'. He was moved to an isolation ward on Thursday.”

By Friday, the nursing home rang Jack’s family to say the hospital would be discharging him as his condition had “drastically improved.”

He said: “They said he had a healthy appetite and he was doing really well.

"I spoke to him on Monday morning, and he was sat up in his chair, doing really well.

“The consultant even wants to use him as a case study."

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Jack was based in Clevedon, Somerset during the Second World War and was dubbed a “trailblazer” by his daughter Joanne Drayson.

Joanna believes the medication Jack received for the suspected water infection may have had a part to play in her dad’s speedy recovery.

She said: “His medication has been shown to have anti-viral properties. I believe that's why he recovered so quickly.

"For somebody to of his age to go into hospital on Monday and come out again the same week is remarkable. And now doctors have approached him to be a case study.

"So he was a trailblazer back in WWII and he's clearly a trailblazer now."

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