MAINE, USA — During Tuesday's Maine CDC briefing, Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah shared that a woman in her 100s from Cumberland County who tested positive for COVID-19 had died.
Dr. Shah said the woman's family reached out to him about her death and, on Wednesday, he shared some details about her life without revealing her identity. He said her life was richly textured, with much more to it than he could share, but the details he did share were fascinating and inspiring. They outline a true lifetime of service, both to the state of Maine and to her country:
She entered the world during the Spanish Flu Pandemic. Her mother was so sick when she was born that she had to live with her aunt for some time after her birth.
She grew up to become a nurse. Shortly after completing her nursing education, she decided she wanted to see the world. She decided to enlist in the Army as a nurse.
She served in India, among other places.
She was one of six of her siblings who served during WWII. Sadly, one of her siblings did not return.
After the war, she held leadership positions as a nurse across the state of Maine. For a while, she was the head of nurses at the Maine Ear and Eye Infirmary. She was also the head of nurses for the state of Maine.
Later in her life, she married a potato farmer and live in Aroostook County for many years. She continued nursing late into her life.
Eventually, she sold the log cabin where she and her family lived in Northern Maine and moved to Southern Maine to care for her sister. Her sister was her roommate when she passed away.
Dr. Shah shared this story in tribute to her life, as well as to remind all Mainers that behind each and every COVID-19 statistic is a story.