Healthy You - Every Day

101 Reasons to Celebrate


Editor's note: William (Bill) Cohen passed away on May 12, 2020, a week after he was discharged from the hospital to a nursing home. This story is a remembrance of a life well-lived, and in honor of a man who was deeply loved by his family.


Every birthday is celebration of a life well-lived. And for those fortunate enough to have witnessed an entire century, such a personal milestone takes on even more significance. Yet, imagine acknowledging your 101st birthday while also celebrating your incredible success in the fight against coronavirus (COVID-19).

Meet Bill Cohen, who ironically was born during a time when the Spanish Flu was ramping up around the world. Cohen is a World War II veteran, proud grandfather, birthday boy and coronavirus survivor who was released from Lehigh Valley Hospital (LVH)–Pocono on May 4 after receiving treatment for COVID-19.

On Sunday evening, while at LVH–Pocono, the medical staff treating Cohen offered to hand-deliver him a birthday cake of his choosing. Following, a festive ice cream cake was brought to his room, with staff surrounding him, and family standing by on Zoom to sing him Happy Birthday.

“The medical staff at LVH–Pocono are the most awesome superheroes around,” says Jennifer Sapienza, Cohen’s granddaughter who has lived with him for the past 27 years. “They were there for him when I couldn’t be and treated him as if he was a member of their own family.”

Sapienza also recognized the superior inpatient care her grandfather, affectionately known as “Pop,” received earlier this year at the hospital, and from all his LVHN physicians once discharged. She also noted the seamless transferring of medical records between his nursing home and LVH–Pocono, and how critical that was to his care.

As highlighted in the video, Sapienza and her son enjoyed a very special moment as she cheered on her grandfather in person, who was making his way toward the hospital exit once discharged. Cohen’s words to his granddaughter and great-grandson were simply, “I missed you! I missed you!”

Watch this touching video tribute on Facebook.


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