Reborn at age 102: Russian WWII veteran defeats Covid after months in hospital

Reborn at age 102: Russian WWII veteran defeats Covid after months in hospital


They say that your mental strength matters a lot when you are recovering from an illness. And in the event of a deadly disease like Covid, you will need all the help you can to fight the infection off. A 102-year-old Russian WWII veteran has proven that the disease can be defeated in any case.

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They say that your mental strength matters a lot when you are recovering from an illness. And in the event of a deadly disease like Covid, you will need all the help you can to fight the infection off. A 102-year-old Russian WWII veteran has proven that the disease can be defeated in any case.

Older people are considered more susceptible to COVID-19. But 102-year-old Nikolai Bagayev proved that age is not an obstacle to a successful defense.

The 102-year-old Bagayev suffered 80% lung damage from the coronavirus when he was admitted to a hospital in the city of Korolev near Moscow.

He had to spend more than a month in the hospital, including a week in intensive care. But he emerged victorious, as did his nation against the Germans in World War II. Bagayev was released on Thursday evening.

“The last time I faced death was in 1941, when my right lung was injured during the Battle of Moscow. But I was still quite young at the time and could recover quickly,” he said.

“This time I was largely supported by doctors, although several times I was on the verge of losing hope and courage. I am very grateful to all of them.”

Bagayev is a shrinking group of veterans revered in Russia for their role in defeating Nazi Germany. In May, he took part in the annual Victory Parade on Square Parade with President Vladimir Putin.

“It was tough, but I could see the doctors fighting and I helped them,” said Bagayev, who wore a medal-decorated military uniform when he was discharged from the hospital.

“They are the heroes,” said Bagayev, who was promoted to reserve colonel last year, of his doctors.

Bagayev experienced many of the turbulent wars of the now-defunct Soviet Union and was wounded twice – once seriously – during the war.

“He’s a real soldier, he kept reminding himself of his war injuries and hardships in (the battle of) Moscow and these memories helped him during his time in the hospital,” said Bagayev’s doctor Valentina Rakitskaya.

After the war, Bagayev worked in the Soviet Republic of Kazakhstan, where he helped build the Baikonur Cosmodrome, which in 1961 sent the first human, Yuri Gagarin.

Bagayev said a breathing technique he learned from Soviet cosmonauts helped him recover from COVID-19.

As a loyal member of the opposition Communist Party of Russia, he plans to help them campaign before the parliamentary elections in September, but said his first goal is to be able to walk again without assistance.

(With contributions from agencies)

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