‘Oh, my mercy’, Man celebrates 102nd birthday during pandemic

Photo credit: John McKinney

Meet Johnny McKinney from Rock Hill, South Carolina. He was born on June 25, 1918 and he has never seen anything like the pandemic we’re currently living through.

“He just said in all his years he’s never seen anything like this where they completely shut the country down,” Johhny McKinney’s grandson, John McKinney said. 

“We just thought it would be best if we kept as many people away from him, or with their mask on as possible,” McKinney said. 

So members of his family, his church group and his friends all drove over to surprise Johnny McKinney on his 102nd birthday. 

“We were just thankful and grateful that we all had an opportunity to celebrate that day,” McKinney said. 

Johnny McKinney was thrilled beyond belief, he never expected so many people to come out and celebrate his big day with him.

“He couldn’t believe it. He was surprised and shocked the same,” McKinney said. “He couldn’t believe that people would take time out of their day to arrive by his house to celebrate the day. He just kept saying ‘oh, my mercy,'” McKinney explained. 

McKinney said days after the party, his grandfather is still on cloud nine.

“This is our new normal, and we don’t know for how long,” McKinney said. “But he was grateful and thankful for everybody that came up.” 

McKinney said even though his grandfather is 102 years old, he said he still cooks for himself, goes on daily walks and even made a Tik Tok video with the family last Sunday.

“Well, I’m not sure but he may be the only 102-year-old I know of that was on Tik Tok,” McKinney joked. 

McKinney said as far as the coronavirus pandemic goes, his grandfather is doing pretty well. 

“He’s maintaining, you know. We talk,” McKinney said. “And he lets us know how he feels and we’re just grateful and he’s been doing the best he can despite all this.” 

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