A World War II veteran who was recovering from COVID-19 made his comeback just in time for hospital workers to sing "Happy Birthday Dear Pop Pop" to him. Major Lee Wooten was hospitalized last week after contracting the virus and wound up being discharged from the facility two days before his 104th birthday. Going above and beyond for the American hero — who served in France during the second world war — the doctors, nurses and staff of Madison Hospital in Alabama found a way to brighten up his day.
In a clip that has since gone viral, Wooten is seen being wheeled past lines of hospital personnel who belt out a sweet "Happy Birthday" for the loving "Pop Pop." The video was first posted on the hospital's Facebook page with a caption read, "Mr. Major Lee Wooten won his battle with COVID-19 in time to be home to celebrate his 104th birthday. Mr. Wooten, who is a veteran and warmly known as 'Pop Pop,' is described by his granddaughter as 'their family's treasure.' Please join us in wishing Mr. Wooten a very, happy birthday!"
Speaking about her grandfather's hospital stay, Holley Wooten McDonald said, "I’m just thankful that they were able to treat him so quickly and we were able to get him tested," per the AP. "It’s amazing that a 104-year-old survived COVID," she added. McDonald went on to share that her grandfather tested positive for coronavirus on Nov. 23, and then had to be taken to the hospital the day before Thanksgiving after being given an infusion of the recently approved monoclonal antibody therapy bamlanivimab.
"I don’t know if that medicine just started working … but within 24 hours he was better," she shared. McDonald added that Wooten’s blood oxygen levels are much better now, and his lungs are "clear as a bell." Wooten is not the only member of his family to come down with COVID-19. McDonald shared that her mother, as well as a sister, both contracted it. Her sister ended up spending a week on a ventilator, due to effects of the virus. Reportedly, both women have since recovered.
Notably, Wooten's close call with COVID-19 has not been his only major health issue of 2020. Earlier this year, he suffered some very serious heart problems and had to be hospitalized. During his recovery, Wooten got a video call from Alabama coach Nick Saban, which meant a huge deal to Wooten as he is a big University of Alabama football fan. "He was on cloud nine after that," McDonald said of her grandfather's mood after the call.