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'Wonderful' nursing home staff help Nell (72) to beat virus that killed husband

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Nell McGroddy and her husband John

Nell McGroddy and her husband John

Nell McGroddy and her husband John

The widow of a man who died from Covid-19 has recovered from the virus in the nursing home where they lived.

Nell McGroddy (72), a resident at Tara Winthrop Private Clinic in Swords, tested positive for coronavirus days before her husband John.

John died on March 29 and Nell, his wife of 50 years, was too unwell to go to his funeral.

Her eldest son Dom told the Herald his mother has "bounced back" and is doing "extremely well".

"She's over it, thank God," he said. "You hesitate to say she has been rubber-stamped as someone who has completely recovered, but she's as well as she ever was before it.

"She recovered in the home, which is a testament to the people looking after her."

John, who suffered from dementia, went to live in the care home three years ago. His wife decided to join him 18 months later.

They both became unwell several weeks ago, and their extended family were unable to see them in person due to visitor restrictions.

The couple's adult children watched from behind a window while their mother wore a mask and gloves to say goodbye to her husband in his final moments.

Struggling

Dom said his mother has been receiving first-class care from the team at Tara Winthrop in the weeks since.

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Their family have thanked staff at Tara Winthrop Private Clinic

Their family have thanked staff at Tara Winthrop Private Clinic

Their family have thanked staff at Tara Winthrop Private Clinic

Visits are still restricted, and his sisters have been able to speak to their mother only through an outside window.

Dom said she has been asking for his father.

"My mother has mild dementia, so I don't think it's quite sunk in that Dad is gone," he said.

"She has been asking for him. She's struggling, and my sisters are struggling, so it's been parked in a way until all this is over.

"They're just trying to keep her talking and keep her spirits up, maybe distract her."

Nell, a mother-of-five, once worked in the clothing section of Brown Thomas.

The store reached out to the McGroddy family after learning about John's death and invited her to enjoy afternoon tea once the nationwide lockdown restrictions are removed.

"Mum's up chatting and she's in good form," said Dom.

"She couldn't wait to talk to her sister when she heard from Brown Thomas."

In a show of support to the staff at the home, Dom and his two children, Aoidhri and Aoife, recorded a version of Lean On Me in their home, which they posted on YouTube.

They have since started a fundraiser to buy gifts for the hard-working staff.

"We are truly thankful to the wonderful staff there at the nursing home who held our dad's hand when he died and who continue to support Mum every hour of every day," said Dom.

To donate to Dom's fundraiser visit gofundme.com/f/nice-things-for-nursing-homes.