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Nightmare ordeal Country singer says vaccine saved her sick hubby from the worst of Covid-19

"Willie has an underlying condition called sarcoidosis, which affects his lungs, so that would be one of the prime reasons he got it so bad"

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Willie and Kathy

Willie and Kathy

Willie and Kathy

IRISH country singer Kathy ­Crinion has revealed her Covid nightmare after her husband ­ended up in ICU, and her 22-year-old son was also hospitalised with the deadly virus last month.

Kathy, whose other two sons were also infected, believes the outcome for her husband, Willie, who tested positive on July 7, would have been more grave had he not been vaccinated.

"Willie has an underlying condition called sarcoidosis, which affects his lungs, so that would be one of the prime reasons he got it so bad," Kathy told the Sunday World yesterday.

"He leads a normal life with it, but it's something that flares up and affects his lungs. It just so happens that that's the bit that Covid targets as well, so his chances of getting ill from it were high.

"Willie is still in hospital, but he's now out of intensive care and doing well, and the fact that he was vaccinated, I'm confident, is why he is as good as he is today. He got the Pfizer vaccination in March."

Despite the fact that Willie and their three sons, Jake (30) and 22-year-old twins, Billy and Adam, contracted the virus, Kathy escaped it.

She says: "I immediately took precautions, wore masks and gloves and that obviously mitigated my chances of getting it, but I had been sharing a bed with Willie before he tested positive, so it's a miracle I didn't get it. However, I also put it down to having the AstraZeneca vaccine."

Kathy, who lives in Trim, Co Meath, admits she was initially reluctant to get the AstraZeneca jab.

"I was kind of worrying about the clots, and all the other things they were talking about with ­AstraZeneca. I'm a psychotherapist, as well as a singer-songwriter, and our governing body got us the vaccine, so we all had to go for it because we were seeing clients," she said.

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Kathy Crinion

Kathy Crinion

Kathy Crinion

"As I said, I was worried about getting AstraZeneca, but that was the one they were re-offering us. I just thought, at the end of the day, I have an elderly mother and elderly mother-in-law and it's not about me.

"Once I realised that, I went and just bit the bullet. I must admit that I was sick for three days after getting the shot. But it was only three days, and looking now at my husband I'm going - that three days was nothing compared to Covid.

"I would have a hundred AstraZeneca jabs rather than Covid.

"I understand people's reasons that they don't want to get it, but, at the end of the day, the minute Covid hits your doorstep you have a different take on it."

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A former Sunday World Country ­Music Awards winner, Kathy tells how her ­family's Covid-19 experience unfolded at the start of last month.

"When Willie developed symptoms we went into isolation and we sent him to a free apartment belonging to an uncle of ours. He tested positive on July 7, and a week later he collapsed.

"Obviously his lungs needed help. He was taken to Navan Hospital by ambulance and ended up in ICU. It has shook the whole family. Myself and my three sons were tested after Willie tested positive, and they all came back negative. But the day we got the results, one of my sons presented with symptoms.

"And then, as the days passed, each one got it. I kept getting tested when they got tested, but I was negative. I presume it's because I had been vaccinated.

"My sons hadn't been vaccinated at that point. Then Adam ended up in hospital a week later for 10 days, and I couldn't believe that this was happening to us.

"Adam is only 22. He'd developed a really bad cough and a very high temperature. He was on antibiotics, but still wasn't shaking it. When we brought him to A&E, they admitted him because they said his oxygen levels had dropped.

"So both Willie and Adam were now in hospital. Willie wasn't on a ventilator, he was on a mask called a CPAP, which is a step down from ventilation. It's a mask that pushes air into your lungs. Adam was on regular oxygen.

"So the two of them are there in hospital and I couldn't visit them, which was really difficult for a wife and mother, not to be able to go in and just hold somebody's hand and say, 'You'll be fine.'

"And then you are nursing the two that are at home.

"It was a very tough time. We have wonderful friends and neighbours that were dropping over care packages. People have been lovely and so kind, but you couldn't hug anyone, you couldn't have a cup of tea with anyone."

Kathy is looking forward to having her husband home.

"We hope he'll be discharged in a couple of weeks. It'll be a total of five weeks by the time he is out.

"We're 34 years together and we're never apart. We're a very close family and always have been, and we're always together, so it's been tough. But we're also a strong family, and we'll get there."

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