Video: 102-year-old finally celebrates birthday centenary after pandemic
Thea van Brandenburg happily celebrated her birthday surrounded by family and friends for the first time since before the coronavirus pandemic. Van Brandenburg turned 100 just after the Cabinet implemented the first lockdown in response to the coronavirus in March 2020. She was surprised with a birthday party at her care home in Arnhem earlier this week, days before her 102nd birthday.
"I have grown old easily and rich in health. What more could you want?" she told Omroep Gelderland. "I'm still looking upbeat, I feel good and have zest for life. As far as I'm concerned, we're going for the 103rd, but I can't control that!"
At the party, Van Brandenburg was able to get hugs and kisses on the cheek from those close to her. It was a different scene two years ago, when her family rented an aerial lift so they could wish her a happy birthday at a distance of over 1.5 meters while she greeted them from her balcony.
"Now I can just hug her again and hold her. That couldn't be done from a cherry picker ,and she loves to cuddle," said her daughter, Irma Vlasblom, in an interview with the broadcaster.
Van Brandenburg turns 102 on Sunday. Her son, Rob van Kempen, said with a laugh, "We're immediately sorting out next year's plan!"