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Northern Ireland gran who beat cancer died after catching coronavirus at care unit


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A grandmother who died from Covid-19 after contracting the deadly virus at Owen Mor Care Centre had beaten cancer, her family has revealed

A grandmother who died from Covid-19 after contracting the deadly virus at Owen Mor Care Centre had beaten cancer, her family has revealed

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press E

A grandmother who died from Covid-19 after contracting the deadly virus at Owen Mor Care Centre had beaten cancer, her family has revealed

A grandmother who died from Covid-19 after contracting the deadly virus at Owen Mor Care Centre had beaten cancer, her family has revealed.

The son of the pensioner spoke out about his concerns for his mum when it first emerged that six residents had been diagnosed with the killer virus at the end of March.

His mum, who was living with dementia, was in a separate unit at the Londonderry home but was subsequently found to have the virus after she was taken to Altnagelvin Hospital for treatment for breathing problems and a spike in her temperature.

She was subsequently diagnosed with Covid-19 and died on April 21 - three weeks after her son first raised concerns.

She is one of at least 11 residents who have died as coronavirus has spread through the facility and her son has hit out at the lack of measures put in place by officials to keep elderly people safe from the virus.

Describing the family's harrowing ordeal as they waited for news of his mum each day, he explained: "For two weeks we phoned for five minute updates each day in hospital, the staff were very busy but it was a long wait for a progress report.

"When you're visiting relatives in hospital in person, normally you're in a better position to provide other medical or historical background to doctors - I was unable to do that during brief calls and this adds to the stress of it all.

"As with all Covid patients, we were only ever in a position to FaceTime mum, when mum was critical on the day she passed away it was particularly painful having to FaceTime our goodbyes, basically feeling totally helpless during the whole situation.

"Mum was known for her smile, she always loved the company of family and friends, she was known for her style and fashion sense.

"She was devoted to her children and grandchildren and had a strong faith, she was also resilient with a great work ethic - she was determined and survived stage four cancer before dementia set in.

"Ironically, mum was calm and at peace in her last six months, she enjoyed the sweet things in life and often gave a hearty laugh at my attempts to joke or poke fun at her.

"She periodically mentioned our names - even in the ninth year of her dementia.

"We were there for mum, during every doctor's appointment over those nine years but we weren't able to be with her in person and hold her hand at the end."

Belfast Telegraph