WW2 veteran beats COVID after weeks in hospital

Russian World War Two veteran Nikolai Bagayev says he’s cheated death twice.

First, when the German troops invaded the Soviet Union and now against COVID-19.

The 102-year-old had 80% lung damage when he was admitted to hospital in the town of Korolyov near Moscow.

He spent over a month in the hospital with coronavirus, including a week in intensive care, and was finally discharged on Thursday (July 22) evening.

"I want to say a huge thanks you to the doctors, they saved me. As you can say I was reborn aged 102-and-a-half. I saw how they worked, gently, scholarly, quickly, and with respect. They are the heroes".

Bagayev is part of a shrinking group of veterans who are revered in Russia for their role in defeating Nazi Germany.

In May, he took part in the annual victory parade alongside President Vladimir Putin.

Valentina was one of his doctors:

"He did great, he is a real trooper, he kept remembering his war-time wound and hardships in [the Battle of] Moscow and those memories helped him during his time in hospital."

After the war, Bagayev worked in the Soviet republic of Kazakhstan where he helped build the Baikonur cosmodrome which sent Yuri Gagarin, the first man, into space in 1961.

Bagayev said a breathing technique which he had learnt from Soviet cosmonauts helped him recover from COVID-19.

"I’m feeling very good. And I'm really glad that people come here to meet me in our cosmic Korolyov city."

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting