A NORTH Belfast woman is preparing to celebrate her 100th birthday just weeks after contracting Covid-19.
Margaret Sinclair, who is known by her middle name Ethel, reaches her centenary milestone on Wednesday (May 13).
Born and bred locally, Ethel grew up in Silvio Street, off the Crumlin Road, but has been living in Bradley Manor Care Home since last summer.
A number of residents have sadly lost their lives at the home but 99-year-old Ethel was fortune enough to only experience mild symptoms of the virus.
Speaking to the North Belfast News, her granddaughter, Ashleigh Fox, explained: “She tested positive for Covid-19 at the start of April.
“Thankfully, her symptoms were relatively mild, which was a relief, considering she is 99 years old.
“She was able to stay in the home and fortunate she didn’t have to be admitted to hospital for any serious treatment.
“The virus is out of her system now. She is still a bit weak but she is getting better and stronger day by day. A few years ago, she spent five months in hospital with a broken hip and wrist. She got MRSA and survived it so she must have good strong genes.”
Ashleigh is disappointed next week’s milestone for her granny will not be celebrated in the way she would have liked but is hoping to pay a socially distant visit to her on Wednesday.
“The home had a singer in the other day and it was great to hear she was able to sit outside in her chair.
“It is sad we can’t see her in person with the restrictions but we have been using FaceTime a lot as a family which is helping keep all our spirits up.
“We had originally booked Belfast Castle for the celebrations next week and had family members meant to be coming home for that but obviously that was all cancelled.
“We are hoping the care home will be able to wheel her out to the reception area and we can be on the other side through the glass.
“It is not the celebration we planned or that she deserves but hopefully we will be able to see her in person soon.
“I have been asking friends and families to send her cards and get their kids involved to make rainbows to send to her as well which will hopefuly go some way in marking the occasion.”