A CORK nursing home resident and former dairy farmer enjoyed a special celebration for his 101st birthday, with a surprise visit from two Friesian calves.
Cramers Court Nursing Home in Belgooly went above and beyond for resident Denis Dilworth on his birthday with some unique and personal surprises.
“We try to tailor-make activity programmes for residents,” Activities Coordinator at Cramers Court, Teresa O’Donovan, told The Echo.
“We wanted to do something very personal for Denis on his birthday so we rang a local councillor, Alan Coleman, who is a farmer as well.
“Alan put two of his calves into the back of a jeep and brought them down with halters and their little jackets on and we got onto another local farmer, Colm Sheehan, who brought down his New Holland tractor.
“When we took Denis outside in his wheelchair he was so surprised to see the tractor.
“It was amazing and he was giving us all his comments on it.
“Before the calves came then, we have a visiting pod so he was able to see two of his daughters, obviously through Perspex,” Ms O’Donovan continued.
As well as support from the local community, the parish of Donoughmore, where Mr Dilworth hails from, also rowed in to ensure the celebration was extra special.
“I put out the shout in the locality to send me in messages wishing him happy birthday.
“I also wanted footage of the area so we got great footage from the GAA club, from Dairygold Co-op – all the things that he had been involved in in his life.
“We put it all together in a little film for him,” Ms O’Donovan said.
“His grandson Donnacha shares the same birthday, so Donnacha sent me in footage of them milking the cows at home and we got images of the new calves and everything like that – it was great for Denis to be able to see exactly what’s going on seasonally at home.
“I think that’s so important and that’s something we’re going to keep up during the year when they’re cutting silage or harvesting or whatever.”
Mr Dilworth was also delighted with his visit from the two calves.
“He was catching the halters and fixing the jackets on them. He was thrilled!
“Without the support from the local community we couldn’t have done it.
“He had a really wonderful day. It was something really spectacular to see,” Ms O’Donovan said.
The Donoughmore man, born in 1920, has received both doses of the Covid vaccine and has faced the challenges of the pandemic with remarkable resilience, Ms O’Donovan noted.
“I think he was always one of these people that could find the positives. He’s a very calm person and always appreciates the little things too.”