At 105, Kentucky’s oldest vaccine recipient is counting her blessings

FILE - In this Friday, Jan. 22, 2021, file photo, empty vials of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19...
FILE - In this Friday, Jan. 22, 2021, file photo, empty vials of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine are seen at a vaccination center at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)(John Locher | AP)
Published: Feb. 8, 2021 at 3:36 AM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Health care workers, teachers and senior citizens have been the first in line to be vaccinated as Kentuckians do their best to fight the coronavirus and return to things known and loved in the area.

Although there have been a few bumps, Kentucky’s oldest known vaccine recipient said people need to keep their heads up and keep looking on the bright side of things.

Sister Evelyn Hurley, of the Sisters of Charity in Nazareth, Kentucky, is just a few weeks away from celebrating her 106th birthday and she is still busy doing God’s work.

“I was born March 7th, 1915,” Sister Evelyn told our sister station WAVE 3 News with a smile. “I will be 106 in about a month.”

She was still caring for the infirmed and those in need right up to the beginning of the pandemic with visits while also taking those in wheelchairs for walks. She said she has seen a lot in those 106 years and experienced a lot too.

“When I was growing up, we could go to the bakery and get a dozen cupcakes for 24 cents,” she laughed.

The coronavirus pandemic is the second pandemic Sister Evelyn has lived through. She was a toddler in 1918 during the influenza pandemic.

On Jan. 22, she received the Pfizer vaccine at Nazareth from CVS with the help of Nazareth’s nursing staff. Governor Andy Beshear saluted her that day, announcing she is believed to be the oldest Kentuckian to be vaccinated so far.

“I didn’t have one speck of discomfort,” she exclaimed. “I didn’t even feel it going in. I had no redness. No swelling. Nothing at all.”

Sister Evelyn prayed that all who have the chance will do it too.

“Certainly, they’ll be doing so much good for themselves and for others really,” Sister Evelyn proclaimed.

She she said depends on her faith in tough times and refuses to give in to fear.

“I try not to worry about things cause sometimes those worries that we have don’t materialize and that’s all done for nothing,” Sister Evelyn shared. “We all just have to have hope that there’s light at the end of the tunnel.”

She gives thanks for and praise to the health care workers on the front line fighting the pandemic.

“They have been heroic and some of them paid the price because they contracted it themselves,” she exclaimed.

Sister Evelyn also thinks of the teachers. She said she taught for 80 years and understands the love and loss educators feel for the students they cannot see and care for in person.

“I loved every single minute and every one of those students I ever taught is precious to my heart,” she said with a smile.

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