Talented Derry artist Ethan Deery creates tribute to Western Trust staff who cared for grandfather Neil McCafferty during miraculous COVID-19 battle

COVID-19 survivor Neil McCafferty is extremely proud of his grandson Ethan Deery who has created a number of original art works in appreciation of the local health service.

Friday, 26th March 2021, 5:31 pm

Mr. McCafferty is still recuperating at home weeks after being released from hospital following a miraculous recovery from SARS-CoV-2.

The father-of-five spent over 100 days in hospital - including six weeks in ICU - after contracting the deadly illness last October. Neil got out of hospital at the end of January and has since embarked on what he knows will be a long road to recovery. However, he was chuffed to be able to visit Altnagelvin and the Waterside Hospital with Ethan - a young artist to look out for in the future - to hand over sketches inspired by the care Neil received.

Neil McCafferty after his miraculous COVID-19 recovery - ‘It’s great to be home. I know I am one of the lucky ones’Speaking to the ‘Journal’ he said: “From an early age Ethan has had a skill with art. He is a Liverpool supporter and they used to have a match day competition and graphic designers would send in a design each week and the winner would go on the programme. Ethan entered it and won it three times. He even got one from the Cameroon national team for the World Cup finals. They contacted him!”

Neil McCafferty reunited with family after COVID-19 battle - ‘It is a message of how much love is in the world’Professional footballers who have seen the 18-year-old’s work have even commissioned bespoke portraits.

Yet after enduring a harrowing autumn and winter as his grandfather fought for his life in hospital Ethan’s latest creations are certainly in a different league.

“I asked him when I was in hospital if he would do something for the staff because they are such great carers. They are unbelievable. I wanted to do something so I asked him if he would do the illustrations that encompassed Derry and the health service and he did.”

Two months after being released from hospital Neil is taking the recovery slowly. “I’m delighed I can do what I can do but frustrated also because the progress is slow. I can walk but I have no strength or durability. Yet compared to others that didn’t make it my complaints are small.”