OCEAN COUNTY, NJ (CBS) – It’s an inspirational story! A woman in South Jersey has survived three husbands, two cardiologists and now two pandemics.
Ms. Lucia DeClerck carries her faith in her heart and she is also physically displayed all day.
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The 105-year-old devout Catholic just celebrated her birthday Jan. 25 at Mystic Meadows in Little Egg Harbor, New Jersey. It was the same day that she was diagnosed with COVID-19.
“I feel wonderful,” she says.
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy surprised the centennial with a personal phone call Monday morning.
Ms DeClerck not only survived COVID, she was 2 years old when she experienced the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918.
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“She was just open to everything in life and I think it really helped her because she didn’t hesitate to do whatever she wanted to do,” said her son, Henty Laws III.
Her son and daughter-in-law praise her unwavering compassion and years of traveling the country dedicated to community service.
“He’s a really compassionate person, he’s a very sweet person,” said Lillie Jean Laws.
We asked about his secret to longevity.
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“Pray, pray, pray and don’t eat junk food,” she said.