East Texas woman who lived through the Great Depression beats COVID-19


PITTSBURG, Texas (KETK) — An elderly East Texas woman has beaten the odds and defeated COVID-19.

Sibyl Vickers has seen a lot and survived a lot in her lifetime. The 99-year-old has lived through the Depression, both World Wars, losing her eyesight 30 years ago, some hearing loss, and now coronavirus.

Back in mid-April, Vickers says she started feeling bad, and after testing positive, was admitted to the UT Health Pittsburg Hospital.

“I was so down when I got that test showing it was positive. I just was weak and nauseas, and sad because I couldn’t be with any of my family.”

Her grandson, Dr. Trey Vanderburg, who is chief of staff at UT Health Pittsburg, said his grandmother was so weak she could barely stand up when she was admitted.

For him, there was no question of where she would receive treatment.

“I ask people one question — where would you take the most important person in your life for their healthcare? I brought her here,” he said. “I knew this was the place, I never doubted it. Everyone has been fantastic.”

He knew his grandmother was a fighter.

“She is the strongest person I know. She is the epitome of strength, she is always positive. The fact that she came out on the other side of this is miraculous.”

Vickers said she’s still working on regaining her strength and has even started doing exercises.

“I’m not as strong as I would like to be,” she said. “I know I’ve got to walk around and get some strength before I will feel better.”

Vickers said the care she has received at UT Health Pittsburg has been phenomenal. One of her caregivers even took time to paint her nails — light pink, her favorite color.

“I’ve had excellent care and good food and everything is going well for me,” she said. “They are kind and patient and sweet.”

When Vickers was moved out of isolation, the staff lined the hallways cheering as she was wheeled to a different unit.

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