96-year-old leaves Cleveland VA after two-month battle with COVID-19


Wife of 72 years died in November after fight with COVID-19

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CLEVELAND (WJW)– When you reach a certain age and have seen a lot of life, every day is a day that you always treasure.

For William DeCapite, this day is incredibly special. At 96, he’s left the Cleveland VA Medical Center after battling COVID-19 for two months.

DeCapite first got sick in the middle of October. Then his wife Rose became ill and so did his two daughters who came to help care for them.

The daughters said COVID-19 went through just about everyone in their family. But it was for their dad and mom that they were the most scared.

DeCapite’s road to recover was very hard. But it was one this U.S. Navy Seabee veteran was determined to follow.

“He’s worked especially hard the last few weeks with rehab to get himself back together to have the strength to come home… He said John Wayne was going to be his model and he was going to push through it,” said his daughter, Fran.

“John Wayne made the first movie about it about how we can build, and we can fight… There was the song we’re the Seabee of the navy, we can build, and we can fight.”

DeCapite was proud of his service in the Pacific during World War II and knew he could trust the VA to care for him.

“Tremendous, I had the best care. This is another plus in my life.”  William said.

But this moment is also bittersweet. His wife of 72 years died in November after fighting coronavirus. The two traveled to the world together, visiting 100 different countries. Because of COVID, he wasn’t able to be with her at the end.

Fran said the two of them did everything together, but this was one journey they didn’t share.

“We got a lot of family we got a lot of friends that will be calling him to make sure that he’s keeping himself together,” Fran said.

Fran said her dad has always tried to be positive and she said that’s what got him through these tough two months.

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