The coronavirus pandemic won’t stop Hester Ford from celebrating her 116th birthday.
While Ford, who is considered to be the oldest living American, will be enjoying her day at her home in Charlotte, North Carolina, her family is planning to have loved ones partake in a drive-thru celebration this weekend.
“We are doing a re-do of 115 and celebrating 116 coming in,” Ford’s granddaughter, Mary Hill, told WHAS. “So we are excited about the cars coming back in and just acknowledging her and letting them know that we love her.”
Born on August 15, 1904, Ford survived the 1918 Flu pandemic and, according to her grandchildren, is fully aware of the current situation with COVID-19.
“She said this kind of reminds her of that time back then,” Hill added. “She just said she remembers that a lot of people were sick.”
While Ford has not contracted the novel virus, the pandemic has forced her to remain inside the home that she’s lived in since 1958.
Despite not being able to go outside, Ford has received an outpouring of support from family and members of her church.
“Just the love, the outpouring of love is so important,” her grandson Clayton Harris said. “Yes, you know, we thank God for that. Just being able to embrace that love."
While Ford’s family didn’t give any other particulars of the upcoming birthday celebration, the centenarian can expect a large turnout.
Ford has 12 children, 48 grandchildren, 108 great-grandchildren, and approximately 120 great-great-grandchildren, the outlet noted.
“It’s so important if you do have loved ones, no matter what their age, cherish them especially when they get older. and don’t forget to celebrate them,” Harris added. “Because life is so short.”
Happy Birthday, Hester!