Irish woman Barbara Holmes, 86, was hailed as a hero across Ireland after beating a coronavirus diagnosis.
The brave grandmother received an emotional guard of honor on Monday as she was discharged from St. Columcille’s Hospital in Loughlinstown, Dublin, after a six-week battle.
Raucous cheers and applause from health care staff, other patients, and family members maintaining the two-meter social distancing reverberated around the exit as the spirited pensioner emerged to a hero’s welcome.
A recording by some of her grandchildren made the national TV and newspaper news. Her grandson Ruaidhri O’Hanlon told the RTE, “We think someone surviving coronavirus at 86 is very special.
“So the guard of honor was well-deserved. She looked well and she seemed in good form.
“It just shows people that there is hope at the end of it and that it’s not all going to end badly. There are people out there who obviously don’t have the best outcome.
“But today shows that there is hope and families in the same situation do have something to hold on to.”
Another of her grandchildren, Jessie Cawley, watched Barbara walk out of the hospital over WhatsApp from Australia.
Jessie revealed that she was determined not to miss the momentous occasion. “Oh, it was brilliant. It was a great sigh of relief. It was so nice to see her out and nice to see her surrounded by her family,” she said.
Barbara was among 9,233 patients who have recovered from Covid-19 among 19,626 cases according to latest figures on Tuesday morning in the Republic.
The virus has claimed 1,102 lives in the Republic. Northern Ireland had 309 coronavirus-linked deaths and 3,374 confirmed infections.
The figures bring the Covid-19 death toll in all Ireland to 1,411, and the number of confirmed infections to 23,000.
Read more: Coronavirus live updates from Ireland