104-year-old who survived two world wars, the Spanish flu and coronavirus shares secret to her long life

Jane Collins has been through a lot in her 104 years of life. (SWNS)
Jane Collins has been through a lot in her 104 years of life. (SWNS)

A 104-year-old who has survived the Spanish flu, two world wars and now the coronavirus has shared the secret to her resilience through the years.

Jane Collins, who was one of the oldest people to contract the coronavirus in the UK, says champagne is the secret to her long life.

Now that’s a theory we can get on board with.

Collins fought off COVID-19 in 10 days and is now back at Gables Care home in Derby to continue enjoying her winning combination of cake and champagne.

Collins fought the coronavirus in 10 days. (SWNS)
Collins fought the coronavirus in 10 days. (SWNS)

After being admitted to Royal Derby Hospital she grew “stronger and stronger” each day, making what can only be described as a remarkable recovery.

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It took just 24 hours in hospital to confirm that Collins had coronavirus. She was admitted after feeling unusually lethargic.

Although the centenarian is now back in her care home, she admits she still feels tired as a result of the virus almost two months after she was first admitted to hospital.

Her great niece, Sarah Balmforth, 53, who has always considered Collins as her “second mum”, feared the worst when she heard her great aunt had contracted COVID-19.

“When she was admitted to hospital, we were told to expect the worst due to her age and frailty. She went into hospital with extreme lethargy and 24 hours later it was confirmed she had coronavirus.

“She was given superb care and she got stronger and stronger each day.

“It was worrying because you wonder if a 104-year-old still has enough in her to survive, but she absolutely did. She had an iron constitution and she was strong willed.

“She loved red wine and a glass of champagne - that’s her secret,” Balmforth admitted.

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Collins has been living in a care home for the past 18 months but previous to that she lived alone until she was 102. She has been a widow for over 50 years.

Her strong-willed mentality isn’t something that has developed recently. Nobody finds it surprising that Collins, who worked in healthcare most of her life, has survived two world wars and two global pandemics.

Jane Collins with some of her family. (SWNS)
Jane Collins with some of her family. (SWNS)

“She’s always been a strong willed woman.

“She’s a source of pride for me, she’s as sharp as she’s ever been and still has her wits about her.

“It’s not surprising at all that she has survived everything that she has, I think it’ll take quite a bit more.

“Jane was always a character. She used to tell me she’d wait for everyone to get into church so she could make an entrance.

“And even today, her nails and hair are always immaculate,” Balmforth says fondly.