A great-grandmother who battled through Covid has shared an emotional hug with her family for the first time in over a year.
Dena Murphy, 92, was so ill with coronavirus that she was convinced she was going to die.
She said: "In March last year I thought I had sinus trouble. I had blinding headache and a terrible cough. I have never felt so ill in my life. The cough was so fierce it was like I was turning inside out.
"I called my doctor and told him my bed was also soaked. He said I had Covid and needed to be in hospital," the Manchester Evening News reports.
But Dena insisted on staying at home with just antibiotics.
"I thought I was going to live but then 24 hours later it hit me again and I knew I had pleurisy [inflamed lungs].
"I'm not afraid of dying - I have seen it many times. I got my will out. I thought: 'This is it, I am going to die'.
"I left letters to my children and put them on the side of the bed so they could be seen. I said my prayers and went to sleep.
"I got the shock of my life when I woke up the next day. I was still here. God must have some terrible exit planned for me."
Slowly Dena regained her strength and has returned her favourite pastime of tending her allotment in Oldham, Manchester.
Now, she finally felt safe enough to hug her family for the first time in over a year.
She said: "It was an amazing feeling. It was a wonderful, wonderful moment. It lasted a few minutes, and then a second hug, and then a third and a fourth. It was lovely holding those girls."
She added: "Even though my daughter Bonnie and I live in the same house we have been careful not to hug.
But the virus left its mark.
Dena lost her brother, Joseph, in December who also fell victim to Covid-19.
"He died on December 29th. He would have been 90 in March. He was the finest man I have ever had the privilege to know. He was such a Christian man.
"He ran a running club and an athletics club. Only a few of us could attend his funeral at a tiny church.
"But all his running club friends lined up on the main road to applaud as his cortege passed. He has gone home to his God. His faith was impeccable."
Like many of her generation, Dena, says she was brought up to be a tough nut.
She explained: "My generation are pretty tough bunch. As a child my brothers and I were brought up in countryside.
"My kid brother and I used to watch the air raids during the Second World War. I think it made you grow up fast."
Unperturbed with her brush with death or the sad loss of her brother, she's more keen than ever to live life to the fullest.
"I want to do a parachute jump for charity. I also may have to go to Austria, I have not visited there."