Daughter’s massive relief after mum, 79, gets anti-covid jab

The daughter of a care home resident has spoken of her massive relief after her mother became one of the first in Wales to receive the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine to protect her against deadly Coronavirus.

Gwenda Jones, who will be 80 in March, was among 100 residents given the jab arm at Pendine Parks’ award-winning Bryn Seiont Newydd dementia care facility in Caernarfon.

Daughter Susan Griffith, who is a care worker herself, said it is a massive weight lifted from her shoulders to know that her mum has now had her first dose of vaccine.

She said: “We all know these are extremely challenging times and there is still a difficult road ahead for so many of us, but at least now there is some clear light at the end of what has been a very dark and long tunnel.

“We have so missed being able to freely visit mum, hug and get close to her like we used to do before the pandemic. Hopefully, it will now not be long before those days will return.”

Susan, who lives in Caernarfon, said the whole family had been impacted by the emotional effects of not being able to see Gwenda.

But it has especially hit Susan’s father, Twm – Thomas Wyn Jones – who pre-pandemic would walk down to Bryn Seiont Newydd every day from the Caernarfon home he once shared with his wife of more than 60 years.

Susan said: “He would not miss a day. But COVID-19 has taken an emotional toll on them both. For their own safety, being in the high-risk elderly group dad has not been able to enter the home to see mum like he used to, plus he has had to actively shield himself.”

The retired quarry worker has also suffered physically as a result of not getting the daily exercise which the walk to Bryn Seiont Newydd provided.

Susan’s electrician husband Paul and their two sons Ben, 21, and Gethin, 27, have also missed contact with their gran.

Despite the difficulties Susan and the family are hugely grateful for the care Gwenda and the other residents have received at Bryn Seiont Newydd where Gwenda has lived for the past five years.

Susan said: “She settled in well at Bryn Seiont Newydd and all the staff have been brilliant.

“We were hugely impressed before the pandemic lockdown which came into force the day before mum’s birthday last year. But the whole team has really excelled through this terrible crisis, keeping all the residents safe and shielded as they need to be.

“They have looked after them as if they were their own families. We cannot praise their efforts enough. Now we all hope this vaccine will get to work and give mam and all the residents vital extra protection.”

Bryn Seiont Newydd is among the first residential homes in Wales given access to the hailed Oxford Astrazeneca vaccine which it is hoped will offer a vital turning point in the fight against the lethal Coronavirus.

Care homes and the elderly are at the highest risk of serious illness from COVID-19 and are a number one priority for receiving the vaccine.

According to Bryn Seiont manager Sandra Evans, most of the 200-plus staff had already been inoculated but with the Pfizer Bio N-Tech vaccine preliminary dose.