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'It's brought fun into her life at this difficult time' - Meet the 89-year-old Covid survivor turned 'TikTok sensation'


A Limerick grandmother who survived Covid-19 at the age of 89 has become a “TikTok sensation” on her road to recovery.

Jenny Howell has been bringing a smile to the faces of staff at Ennis Road Care Facility in Meelick, Co Clare with her enthusiasm for the video-sharing app.

Ms Howell, a “devoted Daniel O’Donnell fan”, was diagnosed with Covid-19 in April.

Back in her heyday, the mother-of-three was a lover of dance and has been rediscovering her moves while recovering from coronavirus.

Speaking to Independent.ie, her daughter Stella Brougham praised the staff at Ennis Road for “bringing some fun back into her life at this difficult time.”

Some of the videos featuring Ms Howell have been viewed more than 30,000 times and have been positively received by TikTok users.

“My mother never drank or smoked throughout her life but she loves the craic,” she said.

“In the 1950s she moved to London with my father and lived there for 20 years before returning to Limerick. She loves dancing and Daniel O’Donnell… my granddaughter would often bring her to see Daniel when he comes to Killarney. She’s really enjoying the fact that activities are getting back up and running at her nursing home and the staff have been absolutely wonderful.”

Ms Brougham said the staff at her mother’s nursing home do dances not only because they are fun, but knowing that the exercise is good for her.

She described how her mother had barely any symptoms when she was diagnosed with Covid-19, but has been in flying form since.

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“Even when the residents were confined to their rooms, the carers brought fun into their lives with musical instruments and painting and other activities during the times of no visits.

“My mum can now walk around and interact with other residents while socially distancing. She loves the chat and we can visit her at the window. We are really looking forward to the day when we can visit again.”

Ms Howell, who is a coeliac, turned 89 in April and the chef at Ennis Road made her a gluten free cake for her birthday.

“They’re having a garden party and a BBQ for residents at the weekend where they will all be socially distancing and it is great to see things getting back to normal at the facility.”

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