A Cork man who has beaten Covid-19 celebrated his 99th birthday with a surprise from staff at St Finbarr’s Hospital this weekend.
Michael “Jack” Cronin from Pouladuff was admitted to Cork University Hospital after a fall last month.
The retired train driver also contracted Covid-19.
However, he has since made a full recovery and is now “on the mend” at St Finbarr’s Hospital, according to his grandson, Niall Cronin.
“He doesn’t really have his taste back or his smell, but he beat it really effectively and he was in quarantine in CUH [Cork University Hospital] for about four or five weeks and he has been in hospital since November, but that is the first time he has been in hospital in his life,” said his grandson.
“He’d never been in hospital up until he was 98 ever so it was a bit of a shock to us, but we can still chat on the phone."
Despite the unusual circumstances, Jack Cronin’s family, with the help of staff at St Finbarr's Hospital, marked his 99th birthday with a socially distanced birthday surprise.
Typically, the family celebrate his birthday with a meal over the Christmas period, but with restrictions in place and Mr Cronin recovering in hospital, staff came up with an alternative method.
On Sunday, Mr Cronin’s family watched and waved from outside his hospital window as staff surprised him with a birthday cake and candles to mark the special occasion.
As staff presented the cake to Mr Cronin, his grandchildren and great-grandchildren called him on the phone from outside to ensure that he received his annual rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’ despite the unusual circumstances.
The family had been concerned when they first learned that Mr Cronin had contracted the virus, however, they are now expecting to have him home early in the New Year.
“The doctors just said he is a remarkable man for his age to beat it,” added Niall Cronin.