Decisive management at Cork nursing home has kept it free from coronavirus

Decisive management at Cork nursing home has kept it free from coronavirus
Craig and Mary McKechnie. Photo: RTE Liveline.

A CARE home in Cork has been heaped with praise from the daughter of one of the residents who says decisive management has helped save lives.

Avril Musgrave credits St Luke’s in Mahon and their decisive action on Covid-19 as the reason the virus hasn’t impacted the care home.

Her father Craig had a stroke before Christmas. 

He initially spent time in intensive care, followed by time at St Finbarr’s Hospital, after which the family “had no choice” but to seek a place for him in St Luke’s.

Ms Musgrave said they were very lucky to get a spot for her dad, and that she, her siblings, and her mother Mary visited him regularly.

Avril told The Echo that before Covid-19 shut the doors of the care home, she would have been in and out to see her dad almost every day.

“Thankfully they shut the doors and said no visitors two weeks prior to the HSE’s recommendation. 

"I think it’s only because of their quick reaction for the safety of their residents that they have been able to, so far, keep Covid-19 out of St Luke's,” Ms Musgrave said.

However, she said it’s difficult for everyone not being able to see Craig, but it’s especially hard on him.

“From seeing everybody almost every day to not seeing them at all. 

"He sees us on the iPad. 

"He has his earphones and he can see us on Facetime, but it’s not the same thing.” 

Craig and his wife Mary celebrated their 71st wedding anniversary earlier this week, but unfortunately, Covid-19 scuppered their chances if spending the day together.

“It’s the first time ever that they’ve been apart. Mum is coping very well considering,” Avril said.

“Mum was able to speak to him because it was their anniversary, but it's not the same thing. 

"It’s very hard on both of them, but mum has a great attitude. 

"Her attitude is we just have to get on with it, it’s as simple as that. She doesn’t whine about it,” Ms Musgrave added.

Craig and Mary, who are now both in their 90s, owned and ran McKechnie Cleaning Services, which is based in Little Island, and has been in the family for more than 150 years.

Avril’s sister and brother now look after the company, while her nephew has also gone into the business.

“The family business is still going strong, and with my nephew has gone into the business, and that will be fifth and sixth generation.

“It is very busy at the moment because my brother would have contracts for the hospitals and airports, and my sister would be looking after the service side of things,” Avril said.

Ms Musgrave said that after everything it’s important to emphasise the importance of family in all aspects of life, and thanked staff at St Luke’s for keeping her father healthy during the Covid-19 crisis.

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