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100-year-old who beat COVID-19 sees family for first time in a year

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The family of a nursing home resident in Wake Forest surprised her with a 100th birthday celebration. It's the first time that Irma Prevette's family has been able to get close to her, hug her and kiss her since the COVID-19 pandemic started.

Video Transcript

- Happy birthday!

- Happy birthday!

GLORIA RODRIGUEZ: Irma Prevette's family surprising her with this birthday celebration. Prevette turning 100 years old on this St. Patrick's Day.

IRMA PREVETTE: I flipped over.

- Come to see you.

GLORIA RODRIGUEZ: It's the first time Prevette's family can get close to her, hug and kiss her, since the COVID-19 pandemic started. That has them feeling--

- Excited because it's been over a year since we've been able to see Grandma. And earlier we could see her through the windows but that's just not the same.

IRMA PREVETTE: I just wanted to bust out and cry. I'm gonna bust out and cry. I hadn't seen them in ages.

GLORIA RODRIGUEZ: Prevette lives at Hillside Nursing and Rehab in Wake Forrest. There were at least two COVID-19 outbreaks and 19 resident deaths here.

Prevette had COVID-19 and as you can see she beat it. She's now fully vaccinated.

Due to a decline in new COVID-19 cases at long term care facilities in North Carolina, most facilities now meeting the criteria to continue indoor visitations. Prevette's 80-year-old son William Blake getting emotional when he saw his mom.

WILLIAM BLAKE: It's great. Hadn't seen her in so long.

GLORIA RODRIGUEZ: Prevette had six children. Two of them passed away. She remarried after she lost her first husband. Her second husband has since passed away. Prevette has 15 grandchildren, 27 great-grandchildren, and more than a dozen great-great-grandkids. I asked Prevette what it feels like to be 100.

IRMA PREVETTE: Just about the same. It's the same.

GLORIA RODRIGUEZ: So what's the secret to her long life? Her family says she's tough.

IRMA PREVETTE: He'll ask me.

GLORIA RODRIGUEZ: Has a great sense of humor, even likes telling dirty jokes, and tries to eat well.

- I know she doesn't like salt on her food. She loves to play bingo. She loves to watch General Hospital. And she loves word search puzzles. She loves those. So I guess that's the key to happiness.

GLORIA RODRIGUEZ: Prevette's daughter lives in Ohio and couldn't make it today, but she's Face Timing her. In Wake Forest, Gloria Rodriguez, ABC 11 Eyewitness News.