Priscilla Boyle’s birthday was an unusual event this year. In addition to turning 106 on Sunday, the centenarian also had to beat COVID-19 this summer.
The governor of her home state, Asa Hutchinson, even wished her a happy birthday during his press briefing on Tuesday.
“She spent one month in the hospital in June as a result of contracting COVID,” Hutchinson said, going on to highlight her contributions to the state over the course of her lifetime — from teaching Sunday school to owning a beauty shop in Little Rock.
Boyle has since tested negative several times, Hutchinson said.
“I thought that was a good story to start off Thanksgiving and be thankful about her long life and what she means to her family and all those that care about her,” Hutchinson said.
Boyle’s family held a socially distant celebration for her, NBC affiliate KARK reported. Her great-nephews and nieces decorated cars and trucks to drive by her care center in her honor.
Terri Johnson, Boyle’s great-niece, listed pneumonia, COVID-19, and cancer as hardships the West Little Rock resident has had to overcome to make it to 106.
“We look at this as a miracle from God,” Boyle's great-nephew, Garland E. Mormon, said. “And we are very grateful that she has pulled through this.”
Boyle’s family told KARK her secret to a long life is kindness, her dedication to her faith, and healthy eating.