LACKAWANNA COUNTY, Pa. — Helen Wilkes Visneski first stole our hearts back in July At 99 and three-quarters years old when she got and survived COVID-19 and proudly rocked this shirt for all of social media to see.
Now this time, Helen turns 100, and friends and family are throwing her the biggest party the best way they know how during a pandemic.
"I'm very happy to be here with all of my nieces and nephews and friends and you," said Helen.
Helen has lived here at Mid Valley Manor in Blakely for about a decade. When she first contracted the virus back in May, family members tell us she never lost her good spirit during her time in quarantine, and all she wanted was to make it to her 100th birthday.
"We were nervous. We prayed, we asked everyone else that we know to keep her in their prayers, and God carried her through," said Richard Visneski, Helen's grandson.
Helen's friends and family members think it's her good heart that's the secret to living to 100.
That heart shined bright when Helen was in quarantine.
"You know she was making her bed. She said, 'I have to make my bed and help the nurses out because they have so much work to do," said Maryann Visneski, Helen's daughter-in-law.
The 100th birthday party at Mid Valley Manor was also honoring another 100-year-old resident, Lucille Lewis.
After the year residents in nursing homes have had, the party was well.
"I feel just wonderful. I feel so fortunate to be alive, and I'll tell you this is a great party. I love to party hardy," said Lucille Lewis.