A BABY and a 102-year-old woman have become the faces of hope for Italians after both surviving the coronavirus.
Little Leonardo, who is just six-months-old, battled the disease for 50 days and Italica Grondona has been described by doctors as “immortal”.
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Italy has seen the world’s highest death toll from the coronavirus with 11,591 dead and nearly 101, 750, concentrated in the north the country, in particular Lombardy.
Leonardo has recently returned to home in the municipality of Corbetta, in Lombardy.
Local mayor Marco Ballarini called him “the wonderful face of hope” and thanked him for helping to lift the spirits in the region.
“Today we have a reason to smile and be happy, to feel like we are part of a community,” he said.
“Today, we look at the wonderful face of hope. Corbetta welcomes home little Leonardo who has just been released from hospital after defeating COVID-19.
“Thanks a lot Leo, and thanks to your parents who never gave up. They brought summer to the hearts of all Corbetta citizens! Strength Corbetta!”
The baby’s mum told local media she knew her baby was ill when he had a fever and his heart rate quickened, adding that her husband’s work colleague had been diagnosed with the virus.
“I was worried a lot, especially at night. I do not wish that on any mother,” she said.
Italica spent two weeks in intensive care with breathing trouble and a heart problem but was discharged to a convalescent home on Friday.
Dr Vera Sicbaldi, of Genoa’s San Martino hospital said Italica is so tough staff nicknamed her Highlander.
“She has shown such determination – she’s immortal,” said Dr Sicbaldi.
“Her case has astonished all the staff and shows that this disease can be beaten.”
Dr Sicbaldi explained that Italica may also have survived the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918/19 which killed 50 million people worldwide.
"We got serological samples, she is the first patient we know that might have gone through the Spanish flu since she was born in 1917," she said.
Her recovery comes days after a 101-year-old Italian man also beat coronavirus.
The oldest person to survive it and go home is Zhang Guangfen, 103, who recovered after six days at a hospital in Wuhan — the Chinese city which was the original centre of the outbreak.
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