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‘Never give up hope,’ says 89-year-old Covid survivor

AN 89-YEAR-OLD Fermanagh man who has recovered from Covid-19 has urged others to “never give up hope.”

That was the message from Enniskillen man Ernie Long who, after 15 days in the SWAH and a short spell at Drumclay for further recovery, is now home with his family.

Ernie fell unwell several weeks ago and was diagnosed with double pneumonia and COPD and taken into the SWAH. After two days at the hospital he and his family received the dreaded news that he had tested positive for Covid-19.

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“My first thoughts were shock and fear when I was told that I had the virus, but I accepted whatever would happen, would happen,” said Ernie, after returning home.

After over two weeks being treated at the hospital, and then being transferred to Drumclay Transitional Unit in Enniskillen, for further care and rehabilitation, Ernie was discharged.

“The staff in SWAH and Drumclay really went beyond the call of duty for me. You could never pay those who work in the NHS enough for what they do,” he said, adding “never give up hope.”

Ernie’s wife Patsy said the whole family were grateful for the care he had received, stating how “wonderful and unbelievable it was that Ernie had recovered” as there “were times I didn’t see think I would see the day that he would come home.”

When the happy time came, Ernie was given a fitting send off from Drumclay, with staff lining up to clap and cheer him as he was discharged last week.

Speaking about the work being done at Drumclay during the pandemic, charge nurse Dennis Ryan said the facility’s “sole purpose is to get people back to their family and community” through rehabilitation.

“As part of this, we have been taking patients from SWAH, who have unfortunately have Covid-19 but wish to be independent again,” he said. “We have assisted in their isolation and continued onto an individual rehab programme, to get them back to their loved ones and back in the community.”

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Deputy sister at Drumclay, Ciara Farry, said all at the centre were “delighted to have assisted with Ernie’s recovery and wish him and his family all the very best.”

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The Fermanagh Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. 28 Belmore Street, Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, BT74 6AA