COVID-19

Netball stalwart sidelined by Covid crisis

Liam and Margaret O’Kelly are among the growing cluster of cases at TLC Forest Lodge Residential Aged Care at Frankston North.The couple, who both have dementia, live together in the centre’s Sherbrooke Ward.They are fully vaccinated including a booster shot given on November 8.Ms O’Kelly, 82, was sent to Frankston Hospital at 1.30am on November 9 after testing positive to the virus and complaining of a sore throat.However, her sister-in-law Margaret McDonald said she had since been medically cleared by the hospital and was ready to be discharged, but Forest Lodge was refusing to take her back.Meanwhile, Mr O’Kelly tested positive to Covid on November 12 but remained in the Sherbrooke Ward, she said.Ms McDonald said her brother was so distressed at his wife’s absence that he was refusing to eat.“The home is now sedating him,” Ms McDonald said.“It’s so cruel and we’re very angry.“Why can’t Margaret come home from hospital?“She isn’t sick and Liam has already tested positive. Why can’t they be together?”Ms McDonald said the pair have only been in care for a couple of years and moved to Forest Lodge from a Dromana aged care home to be closer to family.“We had to sell Liam and Margaret’s house to pay for their spot in aged care,” she said.“It’s costing a lot of money.”Ms McDonald said prior to her dementia diagnosis Ms O’Kelly was an active and much loved member of Frankston’s netball community.“She was still playing at 77 and there’s a trophy named after her,” she said.Ms O’Kelly is a life member of Frankston and District Netball Association.“Liam is also well known in local sporting circles because of his soccer,” Ms McDonald said. There were 16 active cases linked to Forest Lodge on Wednesday.The Leader understands 13 residents were sent to Frankston Hospital after testing positive.TLC Forest Lodge has not responded to questions from the Leader about the outbreak or why hospitalised residents cannot return.When the Leader visited the Frankston North centre on Wednesday a driver was on site to collect a Covid positive resident.It was not clear if the resident was being taken to hospital. [email protected]

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