Joe Kelly's family was told he had a 50/50 chance of survival but this week there were emotional scenes when he was welcomed home in County Offaly. 

Joe Kelly from Killeigh in County Offaly was greeted by friends and family lining the road to welcome him home. after he spent 127 days in the hospital.

Mr. Kelly was in intensive care for fifty-one of those days and his family was told he had a 50/50 chance of survival.

He was admitted to hospital on January 5,  just as the second wave of Covid hit Ireland.

At one point he was the sickest person in the Midlands Regional Hospital in Tullamore and was ventilated twice. During his recovering, he also had to learn how to walk and talk again.

An 80-year-old man who spent five months in hospital battling Covid-19 has received a hero’s welcome on his return home to Co Offaly. At one stage, medics had told Joe Kelly's family that he had a 50/50 chance of survival |

— RTÉ News (@rtenews) June 1, 2021

Since then, he has come on leaps and bounds and there were emotional scenes as Kelly greeted his family for the first time in months.

Among those gathered were his four children, ten grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren.

Speaking to RTÉ, his daughter Jackie Kinhan said, "A long road but we got there. He beat it. We didn't think he would but he did. He’s such a strong man. He’s our hero." 

Sitting next to his wife with his arm around her, Joe thanked the medical staff at the hospital in Tullamore and at Birr Community Nursing Unit.

"I can't forget the staff. Never met as nice a people," he said.

"It’s great to be home. I didn’t think I’d get here. I missed my family, my friends, and my neighbors," he added.

Now that he is home, Joe said he is looking forward to one thing - "a good mug of tea."