“Feisty” is the way Shelly Gunn describes her 103-year-old grandmother.  

That quality shone through when the Massachusetts woman’s beloved centenarian grandmother, Jennie Stejna, came back from the brink of death to survive a bout with COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus that has ravaged older Americans and decimated retirement home populations across the U.S.

“She always had that feisty fighting spirit,” said Shelly Gunn, who recently moved to Easton from Washington state.

“She didn’t give up,” Gunn told The Enterprise of Brockton.

In May, Stejna was the first person to test positive for the coronavirus at her nursing home, Life Care Center of Wilbraham.

The outlook was grim. As Stejna’s condition worsened, Gunn, her husband, Adam, and 4-year-old daughter, Violet, called to say what they thought were their final goodbyes. Gunn thanked Stejna for everything she had done for her. When Adam Gunn asked if Stejna was ready to go to heaven, she replied, “Hell, yes.”

But on May 13, Gunn got the news that Stejna had recovered.

“We’re truly very thankful,” Gunn said.

To celebrate, Stejna enjoyed an ice cold beer, something she loved but hadn’t had in a long time, Gunn said.

Mrs. Stejna has two children, three grandchildren, four great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren.