Back in my day: Turkish elders beat COVID-19, cancer

You are as old as you feel. This saying certainly applies to two older members of Turkish society who exceed all expectations and feel great.

A 117-year-old woman in southeastern Turkey has managed to beat COVID-19 after receiving her second dose of the vaccine and is now encouraging everyone to get vaccinated, while an 80-year-old man in Adana successfully recovered from both the coronavirus and cancer.

Muteber Engindeniz, mother of five from Hakkari province, shared her experience with the Anadolu Agency (AA) of overcoming the virus with only mild symptoms thanks to her vaccination.

Engindeniz was quarantined for 15 days after receiving her second dose four months ago and said she was happy beating the disease with family and friends in her village.

She said she had taken the medicine as advised by the doctor and had eaten well in quarantine.

“My children also supported me. We are engaged in raising small livestock in the village. I used to go to the hills to milk the sheep. I can no longer, I am busy with the household. I feed the chickens in the garden.

“I’ve had two doses of vaccine. I feel really good now. Luckily I don’t have any problem that requires the doctor,” she said. “I want everyone to get the vaccine. We can’t beat this disease any other way,” she added.

She said her husband died 19 years ago and she spends most of her time with her children and grandchildren.

She has been consuming natural foods since childhood, which she grows in her garden, she added.

Meanwhile, in Adana, 80-year-old Ali Öküzcü, who had survived the coronavirus in July last year, also conquered stomach cancer after risky surgery and walked out of the hospital hand in hand with his wife Yeter Öküzcü. of 60 who never left his side for a moment.

Öküzcü had visited his family last July, after which he developed complaints of a high fever and loss of taste and smell. It turned out that he had contracted COVID-19, but he recovered his health after home treatment despite his advanced age.

Six months later, when Öküzcü received his COVID-19 vaccines, he felt some discomfort in his gut. The biopsy results, after analysis and examinations, showed a tumor in his stomach.

80-year-old Ali Öküzcü (L) recovering from COVID-19 and cancer, Adana, Turkey, October 12, 2021. (DHA photo)

After his diagnosis, Öküzcü began to receive treatment at Çukurova University (ÇÜ) Medical Faculty Balcalı Hospital and underwent a comprehensive health screening at the General Surgery Clinic.

He received three months of chemotherapy and underwent surgery, although it was considered risky due to his age and age-related illnesses.

The surgery took about five hours, during which the cancerous area in Öküzcü’s stomach and the lymph nodes around it were cleaned.

Öküzcü regained his health after the treatment.

“After the coronavirus disease, I also beat stomach cancer. Now I’m fine, thank God. My wife never left me alone,” he told Demirören News Agency (DHA).

His wife Yeter Öküzcü, 76, with whom he had 10 children, said they were side by side for six decades.

“We have come to these days without hurting each other for 60 years. When he was operated on, I wandered the service corridors for five hours. I waited for him with fear and impatience. I always asked my children about my husband’s condition. Happy the surgery was a success. I am very comforted and happy now that he is going to be well,” she said.

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