101-year-old Sept-Îles man recovers from COVID-19 in the comfort of his own home

An abundance of love from a close-knit family may have played a role in the recovery of a 101-year-old Quebec man from COVID-19.

In early April, Clément Maltais began experiencing symptoms of the disease. Upon taking a home screening test, he tested positive. 

Despite his age putting him at risk of serious complications, Maltais refused to head to a hospital. 

“I called 811, they wanted to send an ambulance. I said no,” said Noëlla Maltais, his daughter. 

“My father will not leave the house. It’s what he asked for in his will. I said, ‘My father will not go to the hospital.'” 

Over the next few weeks, Noëlla and her sisters took turns taking care of their father in his home in Sept-Îles, in the province’s Côte-Nord region. 

The virus has been particularly hard on the province’s older population, with 90 per cent of fatal cases those over 70 years old, according to the latest data from Quebec’s public health institute.

But Maltais’s condition remained stable as he fought the virus. 

Members of the Maltais family took turns looking after their elderly relative. (Marc-Antoine Mageau/Radio-Canada)

Throughout this period, members of his extended family set out to show him their love. On May 3, they organized a small parade in front of his home, all while respecting physical-distancing rules. 

“We went around the house, we were 16 vehicles in total; bicycles, four-wheel drives, motorcycles,” said Shanna Maltais, his granddaughter. 

Clément Maltais’s granddaughter, Shanna Maltais, chats with him through his window. (Marc-Antoine Mageau/Radio-Canada)

Soon after, Maltais took a second test and the results came back negative this time. 

His family says Maltais’s condition continues to improve day by day. 

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