Couple Married for 71 Years Survives COVID-19, Urges People to Wear Masks

Elderly couple holding hands
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Sam Gollay is 98 and Edith Gollay is 92, and have been married 71 years.

Sam Gollay is 98 and Edith Gollay is 92. During their 71-year-long union, the couple have shared a lot together. The latest news they wanted to share is that both contracted coronavirus together and beat it together, too.

“I was going through hell. They thought I wouldn’t make it. I was coughing like mad,” said Sam, a World War II veteran and a five-time cancer survivor, who resides in Huntington Beach, California with his love. 

Edith was first to get sick with a cough and fever, then Sam developed a cough. Once they tested positive, they were both hospitalized. The couple was separated, which made it more difficult, ABC7 News reported.

"I was in another room and I told them to put me downstairs to be with Sam; I wanted to make sure he was well taken care of," she said.

Sam told KMBZ Radio of his harrowing experience that turned out well. “I did make it. They checked me every 20 minutes and said I am alright. I had oxygen and a special diet and finally I got to go home and I didn't recognize anybody,” he said. “I didn't know who anybody was...and I couldn't tell who was who....I quieted down and got back to normal.”

Edith said she knows it's beating the odds for two people in their 90s to both recover from coronavirus. But she tells KNX Radio being married for 71 years is a bit of a miracle in itself.

Sam told the news station he is doing much better everyday and exercising. The couple understands that their age puts them in the high-risk category and hopes people - young and old - take the virus more seriously.

"People aren't listening. They've (got to) wear masks," said Edith to ABC 7. 

Sam agreed, saying, "If people were to mask and stay away from crowds, we'd be (at) half the cases now.”