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‘What’s particularly sad is that Dad had just finished treatment for throat cancer when Covid arrived at the hospital’

Ray Kelly’s condition quickly deteriorated after he tested positive for coronavirus

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Ray Kelly died from Covid on April 10, 2020

Ray Kelly died from Covid on April 10, 2020

Ray Kelly died from Covid on April 10, 2020

RAY KELLY, from Navan in Co Meath, was 70 when he died from Covid on April 10, 2020.

He passed away in the Mater Hospital, Dublin, having been diagnosed on March 24.

“He and my mam, Anne, built and ran a petrol station and mini market in Navan in the late 1980s – they ran it for years,” his daughter Sarah said.

“Dad was a big cricket and golf player back in the day. What’s particularly sad is that Dad had just finished treatment for throat cancer in St Luke’s Hospital in Rathgar in Dublin when Covid arrived there.

“He started feeling unwell and collapsed in the hospital, and then he was swabbed, diagnosed positive, and moved to the Mater. Then he had a stroke.

"I got in to see him, but I had to be dressed in PPE. It was like something from the apocalypse. I hadn’t seen him in person in five weeks at that stage.”

Recalling her next time seeing her father, a few days later, Sarah says: “He wasn't lucid and was semi-sedated at that stage. He squeezed my hand.

“He passed away that Friday. The nurses said it was very peaceful and he had people around him, and they read a lovely letter to him that my daughter had written.

“The funeral was the hardest part. My brother David and his wife couldn't even sit together and people ended up having to stand outside.

“Afterwards, we couldn't do any sort of gathering. So we stopped at this lovely little lake with flasks and sandwiches at little picnic benches, so that we could just be together before we had to leave.

"It was nice to chat and laugh and cry and do all those things that we needed to do.”

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