Maia's marvellous hugs from granny!

Barbara Boyd


Barbara Boyd


RATHFRILAND woman, Helen Grattan created a unique door shield so she should share a hug with her mum who has been self-isolating.

Helen’s mum, Joyce Grattan who lives in Newry Street has been under lockdown for the last 10 weeks due to a medical condition.

Joyce, who normally looks after Helen’s daughter, Maia (9) every day after school, had been missing close contact with her beloved family members.

The Rathfriland woman who also marked her 60th birthday on 4 May, had not been able to celebrate the occasion indoors with her family.

Helen had been missing close contact with her mum so much that she thought of an innovative way herself and Maia could share a hug with her.

She said: “Mum hasn’t been out of her house at all and we also haven’t been inside her home either. I am a key worker and just wouldn’t take that risk.

“I would be very close with my mum and as Maia is her only grandchild, they also share a very special bond too.

“Every day we would go and chat with mum through the window and since mum lives on her own, the lack of contact has been especially hard on her.”

After seeing the idea of creating a plastic door shield on social media for protection against the virus, Helen thought she would attempt to make one too.

“I couldn’t sleep that night with wondering how I was going to make it and I got a thick plastic builders sheet from the hardware store and cut two holes in it for mum’s arms and attached two bin bags.

“Maia kept mum talking through the window while I fitted it to the door as a surprise and she just couldn’t believe it when she saw it.

“It was just amazing that she was able to use it and hug myself and Maia and that was the first time in over nine weeks and it was just lovely,” she said.

Helen was also able to use her homemade door shield at her granny’s house which is just two doors down from her mum’s.

She added: “Mum is a very independent woman and lockdown has been especially tough on her with the no contact and so being able to hug through this gave her such a boost.

“We now plan on bringing it with us each time we go to visit mum so the hugs can also continue too.”

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