The daughter of a grandmother who died from coronavirus has described the painful last moments of the 88-year-old who was "fighting to breathe."
Eileen O’Neill, 88, passed away on Wednesday after battling the deadly virus at St Vincent’s University Hospital in Dublin, Ireland.
Daughter Siobhan Cullen has since shared a smiling photo of her beloved mum with her new rescue puppy Molly the poodle.
She told Dublin Live the photo was taken just last week and said she doesn't "wish" coronavirus upon anyone, advising them to take every possible step to protect themselves against the disease.
Grandmother of five Eileen, who was from Loughlinstown, had suffered from a stroke in April last year and also had respiratory problems.
Siobhan told DublinLive: "Having spent her final hours with her, seeing her fighting to breathe for hours and what we as a family have experienced I don’t wish anyone to go through this.
“However, she never complained and feared the thought of returning to hospital.
"So as her primary carer and being very much on top of all her meds etc. I watched her like a hawk. Apart from being tired which she often was, I had no concerns."
She said Eileen fell ill last week and was taken to hospital where they tested her for COVID-19 after confirming she had a "fever."
Siobhan said: "On Friday she slipped at lunchtime and her carer phoned Paramedic Lift Assist as mum was unable to get up and carers were not allowed help even though she was a tiny thing.
“He came and stayed around for a while.
"Shortly after he left she said she felt quite weak, her speech became slurred and she slumped to one side in the chair.
“She’d a very high temperature but she could also have been having another stroke so they persuaded her to go in an ambulance so a suspected stroke could be treated.
"As soon as she arrived in A&E she was isolated and tested for the virus."
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Sadly, after she tested positive, Siobhan said Eileen had to be kept in isolation, away from the rest of the family.
She said: "“She was in total isolation fully with it to the end with what looked to her like people in space suits coming in and out.
“Even when I got in she didn’t recognise me with my hair completely covered, masked, goggles, and face shield. God help her. So frightening.”
Devastated Siobhan has urged the public to take the pandemic seriously and urged people to "go overboard" on protecting themselves.
She pleaded: “Please, please, PLEASE listen to mum's story and go overboard on protecting yourselves. If mum, who hadn’t left the house since mid February and was only in contact with six people- all symptom free, got it, anyone could.
“I want to publicly thank all the staff in St Vincent's who looked after her and if people would please if they want to do anything make donations to Feed the Heroes.”
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