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May celebrates 98th birthday in style after surviving deadly coronavirus


Mary May celebrates her 98th birthday at Rosemount Care Home

Mary May celebrates her 98th birthday at Rosemount Care Home

Mary May celebrates her 98th birthday at Rosemount Care Home

A Co Armagh pensioner has celebrated her 98th birthday just days after making a "miraculous" recovery from Covid-19 - becoming one of the UK's oldest survivors of the deadly virus.

Mary May, a resident at Rosemount Care Home in Portadown, became very ill with coronavirus three weeks ago, leaving her carers deeply worried.

However, the Portadown woman - who was placed into isolation within Rosemount - rallied to recover fully last week, and has since returned to join her fellow residents in communal areas.

She celebrating turning 98 on Monday with a party, receiving a special 'Happy Birthday' message via a video call from First Minister Arlene Foster.

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, Mary - who is known by the nickname 'May' - said she was enjoying being back with her friends.

"I did feel very poorly," she said of her fight against Covid-19.

"I'm feeling not too bad at all now. Yesterday (Monday) was my birthday and I had a party. I got a cake and a balloon."

Meanwhile, Mrs Foster - in a video call which appeared yesterday on Cool FM's Facebook page - told May that she was "delighted" to be able to wish the care home resident a happy birthday.

"Our country's facing our greatest challenge since the Second World War and in a week when we're celebrating VE (Victory in Europe) Day - May will remember it well... May can claim victory again, 75 years on," said the DUP leader.

Thanking the staff members who cared for May, the First Minister said she hoped the grandmother and great-grandmother had a "wonderful" birthday celebration.

"Well done May! Very well done," she added. Caitlyn Gates, a senior care assistant at Rosemount, said May's recovery had given everyone a boost at the care home.

"It's really brilliant. May was really very unwell. When she took Covid-19 she was sick," explained the 20-year-old.

"The home care team in the residential unit placed her in isolation, where fluid and food was encouraged, and a lot of rest and she came through it.

"And she's just brilliant now. Her recovery was miraculous."

The care worker described May's birthday as a "great day".

"She got up on Monday morning and we had the whole place decorated. She had her breakfast beside her friends and everyone sang Happy Birthday," revealed Caitlyn.

"We then had a bit of a photoshoot and some pictures were taken of May.

"She then spent some time in the garden and on Monday evening May's family had ordered pizza, so everybody had that and a cake."

The senior care assistant added: "It was a great atmosphere. May was so happy, and so full of excitement and joy. It was a great day."

Caitlyn said the presence of the deadly virus within the care home had been a worrying development for everyone at Rosemount.

"At the time it was a shock to have it (Covid-19) in the home. We obviously knew that it was outside, in the world we see what's going on, but it was still a shock for the team," she insisted.

"But the team and staff came together and do what they do best: to get these people well again. And thankfully May was one of the survivors who pulled through and is now here today, much better than what she was before."

Belfast Telegraph