Wanda Dench, an Arizona grandmother who went viral in 2016 for accidentally inviting a stranger to Thanksgiving via text, has reportedly tested positive for the coronavirus.
Wednesday on Twitter, Jamal Hinton — the young man who accepted Dench’s mistaken invite — said Dench and her husband Lonnie have contracted COVID-19.
Hinton added that Lonnie is reportedly hospitalized and is also battling pneumonia.
I am so sad to announce that Wanda and Lonnie both have COVID-19 and that Lonnie is currently in the hospital fighting both COVID and Pneumonia please send words of love and encouragement their way 💛🙏🏽 pic.twitter.com/tUNpUB20qg— Jamal Hinton (@kingjamal08) April 2, 2020
On Friday, Hinton announced plans to give an update on the married couple sometime soon.
So many people are asking for more info and updates and I plan on giving one tomorrow or so. Thank you everyone who is sending love and keeping Lonnie in their prayers. This is a super tough time but I know we’ll get through it. Love you all and please stay safe💛💛💛 https://t.co/tNvals0FMh— Jamal Hinton (@kingjamal08) April 3, 2020
Back in 2016, Hinton posted his text exchange with Dench, who believed she was contacting her grandchild.
However, after swapping pictures, Dench realized she messaged a complete stranger.
Somebody grandma is coming in clutch this year!! Ayee!!! pic.twitter.com/QGrx83nHLl— Jamal Hinton (@kingjamal08) November 15, 2016
Despite this, Hinton still accepted Dench’s invite, and the two have spent Thanksgiving together ever since.
Right before their fourth Thanksgiving together last year, Hinton discussed their relationship in an interview with Time.
Though he initially felt “kind of weird” about the situation, Hinton met Dench in person before their first meal, and the two immediately hit it off.
“What made me want to go was that I went and actually met her and she was pretty nice. So I decided that I’d just go and enjoy the time with her,” he told the publication. “It turned out to be a great thing.”
“She’s a great cook and she’s a great person to just hang out with,” Hinton said, adding that he particularly enjoys Dench’s turkey and green bean casserole.
Sending love and prayers to Wanda and Lonnie during this difficult time.