HE survived a severe bout of the the Spanish ‘flu over a century ago and now Killarney and Ireland’s oldest man is all set up to beat the coronavirus as well.
107-year-old Michael O’Connor, remarkably agile for his great age, arrived at his GP’s surgery yesterday to receive the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine and he is eagerly anticipating returning for the second dose in a month’s time.
Dr Ken Keohane was on hand to administer the Pfizer vaccine to a delighted Michael who lives a full life and ends every night with a shot of whiskey and milk from his favourite Waterford Crystal tumbler.
Also on hand at the Deenagh Medical Practice at the Reeks Gateway for the landmark occasion yesterday were Dr Eleanor Johnson and Dr Darren Quirke.
Just weeks ago Michael told how he is looking forward to receiving the Covid-19 vaccine and he had absolutely no hesitation about getting it.
“I’ll have my sleeve rolled up and my hands washed,” he smiled.
The Muckross man has lived through civil war and two world wars and he even survived a bout of Spanish ‘flu, the last great pandemic to hit Europe, during which he contracted double pneumonia.
Michael, who is looking forward to celebrating his 108th birthday next October, has witnessed difficult times before but he said he never saw anything like the current pandemic.
“We never experienced such a worldwide difficulty that we are experiencing today,” he said.
Asked how he was keeping himself safe from the threat of Covid-19, Michael replied: “Staying indoors and keeping my mouth shut”.
As for his secret for a long life, Michael advised people to be honest in their dealings with everybody, be at peace with themselves as much as possible and try to avoid doing wrong by anybody.
Michael worked in aviation, originally as a marine radio officer based in London, and he retired in 1980.
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