94-year-old El Cajon veteran who beat cancer, heart failure overcomes COVID-19

Posted at 11:25 PM, May 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-04 02:25:46-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — A World War II veteran from El Cajon who tested positive for COVID-19 has beat the virus, surprising his family and health care providers.

Ben Pack, 94, started feeling ill April 5. He was taken from his independence care facility by ambulance and has been battling the disease ever since.

Pack has survived World War II, the Great Depression, tuberculosis, cancer, heart failure, and, now, COVID-19. His daughter, Lisa Hoover, didn't think he would survive — and neither did he.

"It took him to his knees, we said our goodbyes and it was heartbreaking," said Hoover.

But the former merchant Marine tested negative after 30 days of fighting the virus. It was that same fighting spirit that got him through another deadly pandemic after his service in World War II.

"Tuberculosis was rampant and he was quarantined for two years, he met my mom and they passed loved letters through the nurses ... when they were released they got married," Hoover says.

Pack will be released from the ICU on Wednesday, one month and one day from when he was admitted.

He says it feels like a walk in the park compared to being in quarantined for two years with TB.