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Family visits 98-year-old war hero through window of his care home amid lockdown

The family of a 98-year-old war hero have opened up about their ‘through the window’ visits with him at his care home during lockdown.

Lindsey McCaig and her two brothers are in the same distressing position many other families are in, as coronavirus rules tighten around the UK.

Their beloved dad Donald McCaig is in self-isolation, the Manchester Evening News reports.

This means his family can’t go inside his care home for a chat with him and a cuppa.

But the family are making sure all contact with the great-great grandfather isn’t lost – with visits carried out at either side of glass doors and windows.

Donald McCaig fought in the Battle of El Alamein in Egypt in 1942 (Image: MEN)

And they shared a moving photograph of one of their recent visits, to inspire others in similar situations.

Second World War veteran Donald – described by his proud family as ‘a real trooper’ – fought in the Battle of El Alamein in Egypt in 1942.

Firing the guns of Sherman tanks left him deaf and he also has Alzheimer’s.

Donald, who was born in Miles Platting, is at St Mary’s Nursing Home on St Mary’s Road in Moston.

Tragically he lost his wife, Hilda, last year after a marriage lasting more than 70 years.

Donald is described by his proud family as ‘a real trooper’ (Image: MEN)

Daughter Lindsey, 53, from Moston, praised staff at the nursing home for their ‘unbelievable care’ of the residents living there during the coronavirus crisis.

She said: “Since my mum passed away I have visited him everyday and he would normally go out twice a week to Yates in Manchester in his wheelchair with my brother, Ian, for a drink.

“He loves a tot of rum. But we haven’t been able to see him for over three weeks now.

“He does know about the virus and is, on the whole, coping very well. He’s a real trooper.

“The manager of the unit has given me her personal mobile number so when she is on shift I FaceTime him, but he does struggle to hear properly.

“He wears two digital hearing aids.

Donald, who was born in Miles Platting, is at St Mary’s Nursing Home on St Mary’s Road in Moston (Image: MEN)

“So we take turns standing at the window and outside the doors so we are at a safe distance apart from each other, but we can still see him, wave and communicate.

“Stuart, my other brother, came with me on this last visit.

“He hasn’t seen him for three weeks.”

Donald worked as a cabinet maker and joiner after the war.

He and his wife Hilda started living at the nursing home together two years ago.

Lindsey said: “He’s doing very well all things considered.

“He has gotten a little bit emotional at times and he has asked how long this will go on for, but nobody knows.

“The visits are very emotional for us all. It is difficult for all of us at the moment but he does understand.

“We are able to have a chat and see each other through the windows, and it’s lovely to be able to do that.

“The carers wheel him to the door and stay with him on the other side.

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“My brothers and I are socially isolating from each other, obviously, so we are keeping our distance from each other and taking it in turns to go up to the door and windows.

“The care home have been brilliant with us and we can’t praise them enough.

“Our visits are making a difference – they give him that comfort. If we did not try to find a way to see him, he would be bewildered.

“I am sure there are many other families in the same position we are in and I guess they could try what we are doing.

“We just want to maintain some degree of contact, no matter how that plays out, just so that he can see us, and I want to thank the care home for making that happen.”

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