FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) — Sam Jones was born in the middle of World War I.
He was a baby when the Spanish flu infected about a third of the world’s population.
Now – at 104 years old – he has survived COVID and lived through a second worldwide pandemic.
Sam shared nearly 80 years of marriage with Mary, the woman he calls the love of his life.
They raised a family of nine children.
He worked as a construction contractor at Fort Bragg.
Now, he stays active by doing yardwork, and he loves singing in the church choir.
“He’s a good Christian man,” says Sam’s daughter Marion McLaughlin. “He loves to go to church.”
Sam has survived prostate cancer, bleeding in the brain, and now COVID.
He says one of the hardest parts of having COVID was being away from his family while he was in the hospital for five days in February.
“I couldn’t see nobody,” Jones said.
“It was kind of hard because you couldn’t go up there and see him, and I know he wanted to see us,” McLaughlin said.
Cape Fear Valley Health Dr. Sam Fleishman says he can’t talk about a specific patient’s case, but he says the staff there is dedicated to every patients’ recovery.
“They really took that job very seriously, and they knew they had to be there for those people because of that,” Dr. Fleishman said.
According to NCDHHS data, there have been nearly 60,000 COVID cases involving people 75 and older.
About 12 percent of those people have died.
Dr. Fleishman says the death rate increases for people 85 and older.
“That is a tremendous story for anybody that age to survive this,” Dr. Fleishman said.
“Thank God he’s living, he’s in the health that he’s in, and he truly loves God,” said Sam’s daughter Carolyn Jones.
Sam’s family is planning a big celebration for his 105th birthday in October.