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Hospital staff give grandad a song and a cake as he reaches 100 on Covid ward; celebration after he overcomes pneumonia.

Byline: IAN JOHNSON Reporter ian.johnson@ncjmedia.co.uk @IANJOHNSONCHRON

A GREAT-GRANDAD has celebrated his 100th birthday just days after catching Covid-19.

Harprakash Nair was struck down by the virus as he got ready to hit the milestone.

Worryingly, his oxygen levels plummeted and he developed pneumonia - but incredible Harprakash is now recovering and looking forward to returning to his beloved wife Santosh.

"He went in a week before his 100th birthday and as a family we were not sure he was going to make it," admitted his granddaughter Aneeka Verma.

"But he had a heart attack decades ago and since then he's been really health-conscious. He has always made sure he's gone for walks, so he's looked after himself."

And big-hearted Royal Victoria Infirmary staff in Newcastle made sure his birthday didn't go unmarked.

Kitted out in full PPE, they gathered at his bedside to sing Happy Birthday - even giving the centenarian a cake.

"We were gutted to not be there, as ever since he turned 90 the whole family has met up to celebrate his birthday but obviously that wasn't possible," added Aneeka, who lives in London.

"And when we knew he was in hospital, it was really strange and odd to not be there.

"But seeing the video was really cute, and he loves the hospital staff and they love him."

Having turned the corner, Harprakash is still recovering in hospital.

However, his oxygen levels are back up and the family hope to have him home in the very near future - and to reunite him with his wife.

They moved to Newcastle in 1952, and were among the first Indian couples to live in the city. Harprakash is reportedly the first Asian-born Geordie to turn 100.

And his recovery will give hope to the thousands currently fighting for their lives with the virus.

"It is an amazing uplifting story at this time when there's normally so much doom and gloom," added proud Aneeka.

CAPTION(S):

Harprakash Nair is on the road to recovery

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Author:IAN JOHNSON Reporter ian.johnson@ncjmedia.co.uk @IANJOHNSONCHRON
Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jan 30, 2021
Words:336
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