Dublin woman Siobhán Cullen paid a heartbreaking tribute to her 88-year-old mother who died days after testing positive for the coronavirus.
Siobhán Cullen took to Twitter to say goodbye to a "warrior" on March 18 after her mother, Eileen O'Neill, passed away from the illness.
She said that she could only hold her mother's hand if she wore a full biohazard suit, two pairs of medical gloves, and two facemasks to avoid contracting the virus herself.
#COVID19 #REALITY #Update at 15.20 today I said goodbye to a warrior. I could only hold her hand while dressed in a biohazard suit with double gloves, and double face shields. She struggled almost to the very end. 1/2— Siobhán (@carnsoreboxer) March 18, 2020
Thankfully mum is a peace now but #COVID19 #REALITY means funeral arrangements are pretty much outside our control. No one can pay their respects. Never ever in a million years did I dream a nightmare worse than this 2/2— Siobhán (@carnsoreboxer) March 18, 2020
Cullen has been documenting her mother's struggles with the virus on Twitter to highlight its effects and to encourage people to take self-isolating seriously.
O'Neill, who suffered from asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), was taken into St. Vincent's Hospital in Dublin on Friday, March 13 and was treated for a severe infection until she was diagnosed with COVID-19 two days later.
#COVIDー19 REALITY. 88y/o mother. Totally immobile. Hasn’t left house in weeks. Apart from brother, wife, me & 2 carers NO other contact & yet she’s tested positive THIS IS REALITY OF HOW SERIOUS THIS IS. COP ON— Siobhán (@carnsoreboxer) March 15, 2020
Cullen spoke of her mother's deteriorating condition and the impact it had on her.
#COVIDー19 reality. Mother VERY poorly. Tested positive. I’m waiting for call re advice on what to do. I’m just so upset. Want to cry but can’t. Need to stay strong. Folks this IS NOT FUNNY #selfisolate PLEASE Don’t want to see anyone in same position as me— Siobhán (@carnsoreboxer) March 15, 2020
Her mother was kept in isolation while she was treated at St. Vincent's Hospital and Cullen said that this took a toll on the family who desperately sought news about her condition.
Thank you everyone for all the messages. Hardest part of this is knowing how poorly & vulnerable she is but not being able to see her or hold her hand & so difficult to get info #COVIDー19 REALITY— Siobhán (@carnsoreboxer) March 15, 2020
She was allowed to visit her mother, under severe guidelines, on St. Patrick's Day and the day after, which meant that she was able to be with her when she passed away.
She said that her mother's funeral would be severely disrupted by Covid-19, saying that funeral arrangements were outside family control.
The funeral will be strictly private and a memorial service to remember her life will be held in the future when mass gathering restrictions are lifted. In lieu of flowers, her family request that donations are made to Feed the Heroes.