Charlotte family gathers outside assisted-living facility to celebrate 99-year-old's birthday amid COVID-19 restrictions

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WTVD) -- A 99-year-old woman thought her birthday would be a lonely affair, but her family made sure she got the best party possible.

According to ABC-affiliate WSOC, Betty Knox lives in an assisted-living facility in Charlotte. Because of the spread of the novel coronavirus, many homes for older adults, including Knox's, have banned visitors.

However, her family decided to celebrate Knox's birthday anyway, even if she couldn't attend in the traditional sense.

"You just readjust," Knox's son, Michael Baker told WSOC. "We thought rather than doing it one way, we're gonna do it a different way."

Knox went to her window while her family and friends gathered on the lawn below. They brought hats, banners and refreshments to toast Knox's 99 years.

"She has been such an inspiration to me," said Knox's neighbor Carol Wagner. "When I got and sit with Betty Knox it really grounds me."

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Knox was born in 1921. She lived through the Great Depression and World War II. As the U.S. faces another national challenge, her family said she offered the same timeless advice she's always given.

"Like she always says, 'time and patience,'" Baker said. "That's her quote. 'Stay calm and we'll make it through this.'"

Knox said her birthday celebration did not disappoint.

"It was swell," Knox said. "It was excellent."

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More than 13 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in Mecklenburg County.
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