95-year-old Valley great-grandmother beats COVID-19

'She's known to be stubborn,' her son said, 'So COVID couldn't stand a chance.'
PORTERVILLE, Calif. (KFSN) -- A 95-year old COVID-19 survivor in the South Valley is hoping her story will inspire others to socially distance and wear a mask.

Family members are still unsure how she contracted the virus, but say if you have a parent or grandparent living in your household, it is important to take note of any slight changes from appetite to energy levels.

They're just thankful she survived a virus so many others have not.

At 95 years old, the matriarch of her family, Bernice Chacon was determined not to let a COVID-19 diagnosis end her journey. "When they told me I was going home, I said 'great,' I kept bugging them every day," said Bernice.

Chacon and his siblings say their mother's fighting spirit is what got her through two weeks in two hospitals.

"She's known to be stubborn," Mario said, "So COVID couldn't stand a chance."

Something they feared they wouldn't be able to say last month.

Mario added, "It was really scary for all of us because at some point we really thought we were going to lose her because her sister had just passed away and she was 93.

It was January 11th when they first noticed a change in their normally upbeat mother.

After rushing Bernice to the hospital, she was sent home diagnosed with pneumonia in one of her lungs. A few days later, she got worse.

Her son Philip sais, "She wasn't eating, sleeping a lot. We knew something was different."

Bernice was admitted to Sierra View Medical Center, where she tested positive for COVID-19.

A week later she'd be transferred to the Porterville Alternative Care Site. Bernice doesn't remember much about her time in the hospital, but says "prayer, a strong will and family" got her through.

The Valley native who lives in Porterville with her son and daughter-in-law can now add survivor to her list of titles, which includes grandmother of 19 and great grandmother of 35.

Bernice is still on the road to recovery.

Her son- and daughter in-law are monitoring her vitals daily, but say this is her third day using a walker. She's regaining her strength to celebrate her 96th birthday next month.
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