The elevator doors of Madison Hospital open with a ding on December 1st of 2020. Balloons attached to the back of Major Wooten’s wheelchair crinkle and bounce off of one another while the melody of “happy birthday dear Pop Pop” echoes throughout the lobby. Major Wooten would make it home in time to celebrate his 104th birthday.
Mr. Major Lee Wooten won his battle with COVID-19 in time to be home to celebrate his 104th birthday. Mr. Wooten, who is a veteran and warmly known as "Pop Pop," is described by his granddaughter as "their family's treasure." Please join us in wishing Mr. Wooten a very, happy birthday!
Posted by Madison Hospital on Tuesday, December 1, 2020
Major Wooten is a World War II veteran, who spent the majority of his military career repairing bomb-damaged trains in France before transitioning into a postwar career with the U.S. Steel company.
In the spring of 2020, at 103 years old, Major Wooten suffered from heart problems and needed to be hospitalized. Though his older age put him at risk, Major Wooten’s family was ecstatic as his health improved and he was able to leave the hospital.
Then, on November 23rd, Major Wooten’s luck wavered as he contracted COVID-19. He received an infusion, but soon this treatment physically drained him and he was taken to the hospital by ambulance the day before Thanksgiving.
Granddaughter Holley Wooten McDonald said, “I don’t know if that medicine just started working… but within 24 hours he was better.”
Major Wooten was discharged from the hospital just two days before his 104th birthday. After saying farewell to the cheering hospital staff, Major Wooten was picked up by his granddaughter and other family members, and quickly made a stop for a large milkshake.
“I’m just thankful that they were able to treat him so quickly and we were able to get him tested,” said McDonald. “It’s amazing that a 104 year old survived COVID.”
Already buzzing with joy from the kindness of the hospital staff, who also made him a card, and his delicious milkshake, Major Wooten came home to one final surprise. Local arts and entertainment company MADyardArt established a large yard display with cardboard cutouts of all Major Wooten’s favorite things, including the University of Alabama’s football logo and a patriotic hat.
The World War II Veteran celebrated his 104th birthday surrounded by family. He enjoyed a chocolate cake, a large spread of gifts, and some year-old footage from the 75th anniversary of D-Day. He later took to his favorite front-facing window and saluted friends and family as they wished him a happy birthday from a distance.
To learn more about how you can help veterans, be sure to check out our Good Packs and consider donating to a U.S. Veteran and their pet!Whizzco