Woman celebrates 105th birthday surrounded by family amid pandemic

MONROE, La. (KNOE) – On Friday, a nursing home in Monroe celebrated one of its residents’ 105th birthday.

“Here I am, still hanging on,” Oleta Gibson said.

Staff and family members came to Avalon Place of Monroe to celebrate Oleta Friday morning with a drive-by parade and party.

“It’s a miracle. 105 is a miracle,“ Michelle Gray said. “She’s seen a lot. She’s been through a lot and she means the world to so many.”

Because of COVID-19, Oleta has not been allowed to see her family but recently the facility added a visitor’s box for their residents. It’s a way for people to be closer to their families without putting their health in danger.

“It’s been heartbreaking. She will reach her little hand out like, ‘come on, touch me,‘” Gray said. “And then we were finally able to go to the window and she keeps wanting to jump out. She says take me with you.”

Gray said it was a blessing just to see her grandma in person. She looks forward to the day this is all over.

“It’s been horrible but her getting the virus is not an option,” Gray said.

In the meantime, Oleta enjoyed a birthday full of love, joy and surprises.

Copyright 2020 KNOE. All rights reserved.

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