Stoke Newington woman celebrates 107th birthday after surviving coronavirus
- Credit: Courtesy of the Hutor family
A Stoke Newington pensioner, believed to be Britain’s oldest Covid-19 survivor, celebrated her 107th birthday this month.
Angela Hutor now resides in St Anne’s Home on Manor Road and, for over a century has witnessed great social change, two world wars and new inventions and innovations too numerous to count.
A more recent experience however, saw her battle and overcome a deadly novel coronavirus during a global pandemic, making her one of Covid-19s oldest survivors.
Angela’s daughter Pauline, of Mercers Road, Tufnell Park, said: “She’s amazing – and still very sharp!”
She told the Gazette how her mother was “clinging to life” while suffering from the coronavirus.
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Carers at St Anne’s Home warned Pauline that they didn’t think her mother would make it through, as she wasn’t eating much at the time, so she prepared to say her goodbyes.
Pauline said: “We thought we’ll let nature take its course so long as she’s pain free and comfortable - and then blow me down, she rallied round!
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“It’s the second time she’s done it actually.”
Pauline says her mother has always shown strength in tough times as she comes from a resilient “make do and mend” generation.
“I always think if you’ve lived through what they lived through, especially centenarians – they’ve just had to get on with it.”
She says people don’t realise how lucky they are now in comparison.
Born in 1913, Angela moved to England from Cannes, France with her Italian father Giuseppe when she was 8 years old.
Remarkably, Angela’s father managed to live to 106 and was once one of the oldest men in Italy.
“Obviously longevity is in the genes as far as mum is concerned. She has been truly blessed with good health,” said Pauline.
Covid-19 is not the only hardship Angela has faced in her long life however.
Angela’s mother died when she was just a few months old and, when she moved to England, she boarded at a convent school in Chelsea.
Her father worked long late-night shifts as head waiter at The Hyde Park Hotel and it was, her daughter says, “not a happy time” for Angela as the nuns were “very strict” and “quite cruel by todays standards”.
Angela worked various jobs as a hotel receptionist, nanny, seamstress and shorthand typist and later met her husband Paul during the second world war.
Paul was a patient in the same hospital ward as her younger brother.
The married soon after meeting and bought their first house in 1950.
Pauline, named after her father, says her mother remembers “life being pretty tough, initially,” but things looked up after she passed her exams and became a telephonist at the Continental Exchange in the City, a job she loved.
“Her number one saying is I count my blessings!
“Her attitude has always been like that, all through her life, like in the war. She would say: ‘You came back from work you didn’t know if your house would still be standing!” Pauline said.
Pauline was very impressed by the level of care her mother has received at St Annes care home in Stoke Newington.
She moved into the facility at the age of 105 and her daughter thinks St Annes gave her mother “a new lease of life”.
During lockdown the mother and daughter were able to keep in contact through Whatsapp.
“The care there is just extraordinary, I can’t speak more highly of it,” Pauline said.
Angela celebrated her birthday with her daughter and the nuns of St Annes the day before her birthday on August 11.
Sister Agnes from St Annes Home is currently appealing to local communities for help to purchase extra essential Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), to help safeguard the home and meet the ever-evolving needs of the Sisters, staff and residents.
Urgent support can be given by cheques made payable to ‘Little Sisters of the Poor and posted to St Anne’s Home, 77 Manor Road, Stoke Newington, London, N16 5BL.
PPE supplies can also be dropped off at the Care Home or alternatively, donors can donate online by visiting www.littlesistersofthepoor.co.uk/donate-here/