21st July 2020 John Lonergan, Covid 19 survivor
The family of an 82-year-old Dubliner who returned home having survived COVID-19 paid tribute to the staff of Beaumont Hospital who treated him, saying they ‘weren’t just frontline staff, they were lifeline staff’.
John Lonergan from Portmarnock, tested positive for COVID-19 after becoming very unwell on March 26th and taken to Beaumont Hospital by ambulance. Discharged after five days, his condition declined rapidly and he was readmitted on April 6th.
His daughter Ingrid explained that not being able to communicate with him was very distressing until the staff there stepped in to facilitate video calls between John and his children. She insisted that the contact was a ‘game-changer’ that set her dad on the road to recovery.
“One evening I was dropping a bag in to him just to give him chocolates, drinks; etc and the lady at reception sent me over to a nurse to explain that we hadn’t heard news from Dad in a while. I ended up getting very emotional and upset and the lovely lady – Hilary - did everything she could to basically reunite us with him. He was so delirious with the illness that he couldn’t use his phone,” said Ingrid.
“She arranged for nurses to be in his ward (Fina and Moneth) with a smartphone so that we could see each other. It was a total game-changer and I truly believe it helped his recovery. Those calls happened almost every day for the last four weeks.”
“They were so thorough with his care and went to great lengths to stabilise the delirium. The night staff had the rough deal as for a while as his confusion increased at night and they had to work so hard relax and settle him and maintain that trust,” said Ingrid.
John’s family were thrilled to welcome him back to his home in north county Dublin, , something that seemed nearly impossible just weeks before.
“He’s great now,” said Ingrid. “He’s lost a little weight but doing well. He’ll be spoiled rotten. The Homecare Team are really on the ball, they’ll be visiting every day for an hour. But he reckons he won’t need them once he’s settled in and back on top form. For a man of small stature, he’s like a giant.”