Sister Colette Hickey received her first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine on Monday 11 January 2021. (Photo Source Getty Images)
By Tracy Cabrera
CORK, IRELAND — Later this month, Irish nun Sister Colette Hickey turns 103 but she believes that instead of her being given the vaccine, a frontline worker and younger people should get it first before she does.
Sr. Hickey has actually lived through worst, having survived the deadly Spanish Flu pandemic which infected a third of the world’s population or roughly 500 million and killed about 50 million in 1918, and she believes that a younger person deserves to be protected from Covid-19 because they still have a whole life to live and they serve a more important purpose in life—that of treating ailing patients in hospitals.
“Would it be a waste on me? I’d prefer if it was given to anybody younger or somebody on the frontline first,” Sr. Hickey enthused in an interview by the Irish Examiner.
The Irish nun was born in Clonmel, County Tipperary, on January 31, 1918, just a few months before the outbreak of the Spanish Flu pandemic.
She joined the Good Shepherd Order of News in Limerick in 1935 before transferring to Cork in 1938 at the age of 20, just one year before the outbreak of the Second World War.
She said that she doesn’t remember much of the Spanish Flu pandemic but that she vividly remembers the polio outbreak of 1956 “because a neighbor got it.”
Sr. Hickey lived in an enclosed order during her time with the Good Shepherd nuns and only made contact with the outside world in 1972 when she helped found Edel House, a refuge for mothers and children who were victims of abusive situations.
Her work at Edel House saw her become the first Cork Person of the Year at the inaugural awards in 1993.
After a lifetime of giving aid, 13 nuns have actually died of Covid-19 in Ireland.
Sr. Hickey contracted pneumonia last January and has been a resident at the Bon Secours Care Village in Cork ever since. She attributes her long life to “a good sense of humor,” stating that “there’s no sign of me going yet.”
As a final word, the nun proudly described her life the past 80 years or so: “I don’t know how the Lord has left me here so long. I was always happy and contented in myself and I’ve had very good health, thank God.” (AI/MTVN)