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‘This brings hope to all of us’ - residents and staff at Limerick care facility receive their Covid jabs

‘This brings hope to all of us’ - residents and staff at Limerick care facility receive their Covid jabs

A shot in the arm for everyone: Eithne Slattery, Herbertstown, gets the jab in Beech Lodge Care Facility, Bruree, owned by James and Anne Maria Moore

‘THE vaccine is our only hope to get back to normality’ said Kilmallock’s Eileen Wiley, who got the jab in Beech Lodge Care Facility last month.

Eileen was one of 58 residents and 54 employees to get their first dose of their Covid vaccine Pfizer/BioNTech.

Eileen said: “I miss going out visiting my family who live five minutes down the road from the care facility in Bruree.”

Eleanor Clancy, director of nursing, said there was unparalleled joy, hope and relief on the day

“There was overwhelming excitement and happiness among residents and staff in the lead up to the arrival of the vaccines with the reassurance that the risk to our most vulnerable residents has been reduced. We hope it will get us one step closer to going back to normal within our care facility,” said Ms Clancy.

Vaccinations, carried out by an eight member HSE team, who were methodical in their work, began at 9.30am and were completed by 3pm.

“The first resident to get vaccinated was our wonderful residents representative Ann Ryan, who was also sporting her encouraging hope T-shirt, which read. ‘Join the Covid fight, I got my vaccine today’,” said Ms Clancy

Throughout the pandemic, Beech Lodge has taken great pride in the fact that they have been able to keep all of their residents safe and Covid-free within the care facility, governed and led by the management team of Ms Clancy and clinical nurse managers Paulson George and Rahul Poulose.

“This would not have been possible if it was not for our remarkable, dedicated, and hard-working staff members who went above and beyond the call of duty, day in and day out during these trying and challenging times.

“And it goes without saying, our extraordinary residents, who stood strong and showed, and continue to show, their courage towards this invisible enemy, which has changed all of our lives,” said Ms Clancy, who thanked the resilient and sympathetic families and friends who were so understanding for the last year.

She said vaccination day was “a ray of hope for our residents who have been separated for so many months from their families and loved ones”.

“Our residents have been everyone’s priority at all times throughout this pandemic and we continue in our efforts to take every precautionary measure to protect our residents and staff and to keep them safe until they receive their second dose of the Covid vaccine at the end of February and have the full benefit of the vaccine in the weeks after that.

“The continued ability to care for our residents could not have been achieved without the support and advice received from our dedicated GPs, Public Health, HSE Covid Response Team and Nursing Home Ireland,” said Ms Clancy

Residents’ representative, Ann Ryan, Bruff, said the last year has been difficult. She said not being able to visit her sister and friends in the community has been the hardest but “this vaccine brings hope to all of us and to our families”.

Margaret Cusack, Croom, said receiving the vaccine meant a lot to her.

“What chance would I have if I got Covid?” said Margaret, who wanted to thank all the staff in Beech Lodge for the hard work over the last year keeping her safe.

James Kinnane, Bruff, said he can’t wait for the local priest to resume his weekly in-house Mass when it’s safe to do so.

Amen to that.

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