Birthday parade planned for 103-year-old COVID survivor

'She does everything for everybody else. It's time to do something for her,' said a family member

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Della Hathorne of Oklahoma celebrated a milestone months after beating COVID-19.

On Saturday, Hathorne celebrated her 103rd birthday and was surprised by friends and family with a socially-distanced birthday parade, according to KOCO News 5.

“I didn’t know that they were gonna do all of that,” Hathorne told the outlet as cars decorated in balloons honked as she waved.

One family member said she was “very emotional” after the birthday surprise which was planned by her children.

“She said, ‘I’m not going to cry. I’m not going to cry.’ And I said, ‘Well, that’s what you have sleeves on your jacket so you can wipe your tears with that. So that’s what she did,” a family member told the outlet. “She does everything for everybody else. It’s time to do something for her.”

Read More: Massachusetts congressman tests positive for COVID-19 weeks after second vaccine dose

“The Lord blessed her to have a beautiful day,” another family member said.

Hathorne is a mother of seven, grandmother of 26 and a great-grandmother of more than 100 children. She survived COVID-19 after being hospitalized at Mercy Hospital Logan County for nearly two weeks in October, KOCO News 5 reported at the time.

Her advice to those who hope to live to become a centenarian was, “Treat everybody right. Treat everybody the same, and then try to eat good.”

Read More: 15 people test positive for virus after attending cat’s birthday party

Hathorne is one of many centenarians who have survived COVID. Angelina Friedman, a 102-year-old woman who lived through the 1918 Spanish Flu survived COVID-19 twice, PEOPLE reports.

Maude Burke survived COVID-19 and was discharged from Phoebe Putney Health System in Albany, GA before her 100th birthday in 2020.

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