A VILLAGE in County Offaly has rallied together to welcome home an 84-year-old woman who successfully beat coronavirus.
Mary Joe Kilmurray, from Rhode, County Offaly, arrived home to a hero's welcome yesterday afternoon after she was released from hospital after recovering from Covid-19.
Ms Kilmurray was admitted to hospital in early March with a broken hip after she suffered a fall in her kitchen at home, and contracted the virus while hospitalised.
After a long road to recovery, the strong-willed Offaly native was given the all clear and allowed to return home yesterday.
Her son Ger announced the happy news with a heart warming post on Facebook, where he told friends and family that the "wonderful lady" had made the "remarkable achievement" of walking away from the virus in good health.
"Thanks to all the Nurses and doctors of Tullamore hospital who looked after My Mother and put her on the road to recovery and to everyone who sent messages, letters and phone calls," Ger wrote on social media alongside photographs of his beloved mother.
As happens in close-knit communities, news of Ms Kilmurray's recovery spread fast, and the village decided to give her the welcome home she deserved.
Local sports club Rhode GAA posted on Twitter that Mary Joe Kilmurray would be coming home "after beating the dreaded coronavirus" and began a campaign of "asking people to clap her through the village while keeping your distance for one of our own beating the virus".
Welcome Home Mary-Joe in her Eighties and beat the Corona Virus 💚💛💪 pic.twitter.com/lI28jvkcZ6
— Rhode GAA (@RhodeGAA) April 14, 2020
Word got around, and Mary Joe Kilmurray was greeted by neighbours, friends and family-- all keeping a safe distance from one another-- waving flags, bearing signs and shouting support when she arrived home on a sunny afternoon yesterday, 14 April, with Virgin Media News present to capture the heartwarming moment.
#CoronavirusIreland: Heartwarming scenes as an Offaly village welcomes home 83-year-old Mary Joe Killmurray, who has recovered from COVID-19@DebsNaylor reports#VMNews | #COVID19ireland | #COVID2019 | #COVID19 | #Coronavirus pic.twitter.com/J9SobEnjdJ
— Virgin Media News (@VirginMediaNews) April 14, 2020
The 'Queen of Rhode' as she is being called, said she would "live forever after this" as she thanked everyone for the fantastic welcome.
"I've been crying and laughing and everything else" with the excitement of her return home, she told Virgin Media News.
Welcome home Mary Joe!