MOSCOW, Ark. — An Arkansas woman recently celebrated her 106th birthday after surviving the novel coronavirus earlier this year.
The family of Priscilla Boyle decorated their cars with balloons, signs, and/or birthday wrapping paper on Nov. 22 as they held a mini-parade outside of her care facility while Boyle watched from the door, wearing a “happy birthday” tiara on her head.
“We look at this as a miracle from God,” Boyle’s great-nephew, Garland Mormon, told local television station KLRT. “And we are very grateful that she has pulled through this.”
Her great-niece, Terri Johnson, outlined to the outlet that Boyle had also survived pneumonia and cancer in her lifetime, in addition to being admitted to the hospital in June, where she battled COVID for a month.
In 2018, when asked on her 104th birthday what her secret was to longevity, she replied, “Obedience.”
“Obedience is the main thing that leads to a long life,” Boyle told THV11-TV. “So many people are here, but they are here for the wrong reasons.”
“Love one another,” she stated. “Don’t get yourself so big until you don’t have time to appreciate God and His children.”
Last week, Boyle’s family similarly attributed her long life to her faith, her kindness to others, and good nutrition.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson shared Boyle’s story during his COVID briefing on Nov. 24, publicly wishing her a happy birthday.
“She was active at Mt. Olive Missionary Baptist Church. She was a Sunday School teacher, Vacation Bible School teacher as well,” he shared, noting that Boyle moved to the area when she was 28 and owned White’s Beauty Shop in Little Rock.
As previously reported, earlier this year, 90-year-old Geneva Wood of Washington state credited God for pulling her through the coronavirus when she was hospitalized and wasn’t sure if she would survive.
“His hands were on my body, and I could feel His presence — that I could wake up and feel these hands, and I went back to sleep,” she told CBN News. “And through the night, as I’d wake up, I couldn’t see His face but I could feel His hands and knew He was with me. And I made it through the night.”
“If it hadn’t been for Him, I couldn’t have done it,” Wood said. “And I wasn’t alone, because He was with me all the time.”
In his sermon on Psalm 31:15, the late preacher Charles Spurgeon explained regarding longevity, “We assent to the statement, ‘My times are in thy hand,’ as to their result. Whatever is to come out of our life is in our heavenly Father’s hand. He guards the vine of life, and He also protects the clusters which shall be produced thereby. If life be as a field, the field is under the hand of the great Husbandman, and the harvest of that field is with Him also.”
“The ultimate results of His work of grace upon us, and of His education of us in this life, are in the highest hand. We are not in our own hands, nor in the hands of earthly teachers; but we are under the skillful operation of hands which make nothing in vain. The close of life is not decided by the sharp knife of the fates; but by the hand of Love. We shall not die before our time, neither shall we be forgotten and left upon the stage too long.”