Hartlepool great-grandmother celebrates 101st birthday after fighting Covid twice in less than a year

A battling great-grandmother who has defeated Covid-19 twice in less than a year has celebrated her 101st birthday.

Thursday, 18th March 2021, 12:01 pm
Updated Thursday, 18th March 2021, 12:28 pm
Covid battler Joyce Coward turned 101 on March 15. Photo: Michelle Robson
Covid battler Joyce Coward turned 101 on March 15. Photo: Michelle Robson

Cake and presents were in order at Clifton House Residential Care Home, in Clifton Avenue, Hartlepool as resident Joyce Coward was reunited with son Terry Coward for only the second time in around nine months.

Terry, 73, of Hart, said the “marvellous occasion” was “one I didn’t think we would get to celebrate last April” after his mother first contracted the virus.

He said: “That’s the second time I’ve seen her since the middle of last year.

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"She really enjoyed the day.

"It was a marvellous occasion, one I didn’t think we would get to celebrate last April.”

Although she didn’t need to go into hospital last April and stayed in the care home, it took her three months to fight off the illness.

Strict social distancing measures at the time meant Terry couldn’t see her until June when they were able to share an outdoor visit.

But unfortunately she then contracted the illness for a second time before recovering again.

Terry said his mother, who has lived in Hartlepool since World War Two and who also has one grandchild and two great-grandchildren, is “definitely a battler”.

But even he was surprised by the courage she showed over the past year, adding: “My mother’s somebody who bounces back from things, but I didn’t think she was going to bounce back from this one.

"I felt we were going to lose her the first time. But she’s done amazingly well, she’s fought through.

"It’s quite an amazing situation at that age.

"She’s very determined and over this particular year she’s been very courageous.

"She’s also very friendly and sociable.”

Terry has also praised the care home for looking so well after his mother and added: "She’s received some wonderful care.

"But also it’s her spirit and her determination and her courage that got her through without a doubt.”

Clifton House Care Home manager Lisa Judson said after Monday’s celebration: “She’s marvellous. Her determination and spirits are amazing.”

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