(WRAL/NBC News) -- Senior citizens are especially vulnerable to COVID-19 infection and nursing homes have been hot spots where many elderly patients have died throughout the pandemic.
Lena May Shaw, who's lived through a lot in her century of life, says she wasn't about to let COVID-19 have the last word when she fell ill.
"They said I had that virus," she said recently from the yard of her Raeford, North Carolina home. "Yep, I ain't hurtin' nowhere!"
Given she was just in the hospital for more than four days with COVID-19, that's an amazing feat.
Did having the virus scare her, though?
"It didn't scare me nowhere. God was with me. Nothing but God. I ain't been sick nowhere," she said.
Still, having turned 100 years old in February, Shaw is very much in that high-risk age group.
A couple of weeks back, her great niece, Cori Walker, noticed that Shaw sounded weaker than she normally did.
"She wasn't as loud and boisterous like she normally is," said Walker. For a woman as feisty as Shaw, that was unusual.
Miss Shaw was running a fever and feeling awfully weak. She was tested for COVID-19. The result: just what her great-niece dreaded.
"I was panicky. I was calling 9-1-1 to come and get her," said her great-niece Cori Walker.
The family figures she got it from one of her home caregivers, who also tested positive.
An ambulance carried Miss Shaw to a local hospital an her family couldn't help but think that they might lose her.
HER FAMILY COULDN'T HELP BUT THINK ... THAT THEY MIGHT LOSE HER.
S/ Cori Walker/ Family Member 1:07-1:15
"She's the matriarch of the family. She's the only living sibling," said Cori.
But the way Lena May Shaw sees it, good livin' and hard prayin' go a long way.
"god. Nothing but god. I've depended on god. He brought me too far to leave me," said Shaw.
She still lives in the same house she's called home since the 1930s.
Never had kids. Her husband passed away 55 years ago. But she's never gone lonely, which is why she says God has kept her around so long.
"The love I give people, taking care of children, cooking, taking care of all my nieces and nephews," said Shaw.
Miss Shaw's family says she never suffered any severe symptoms.
She came back from the hospital a week ago, and loved ones say she's back to her feisty self.