CF patient Lydia spent €1k on extra food as hospital menu 'did not meet dietary needs'
A young woman with Cystic Fibrosis (CF) has said she had to spend €1,000 on extra food while she was a patient in Beaumont Hospital because it didn't meet her needs.
Lydia Daly (22), from Portmarnock, has been in hospital for 10 weeks over the past year and complains that the food on offer at the northside hospital did not meet her needs as a CF patient.
She said that dieticians have advised her that CF patients need extra calories and that she doesn't believe the menus at Beaumont met her needs.
"As a Cystic Fibrosis patient my calorie demands would be a lot higher than the average person of my age because when you are fighting an infection your body uses up calories at a colossal rate," said Lydia.
Lydia, who is also hyperglycaemic, said that she often had to wait up to 16 hours overnight between dinner and breakfast.
"You would get a cereal but I could not eat it because it was full of sugar and it would send my blood sugars up before it would crash down within an hour," said Lydia.
"I'd buy a pre-packed sandwich in the hospital shop for breakfast.
"At lunch you might get a veggie burger on its own or a piece of fish or meat... The next meal was at four o'clock and again that was the same thing, a chicken burger with soggy chips or wedges and they were horrible.
"It is so infuriating. You are there to try to get well but the food would actually make you feel worse. It is so unappetising and the way it is served up is absolutely disgusting," said Lydia.
"I was not working because I was so ill. I was on my disability allowance of €188 per week and €100 of that was going on food," she added. Lydia has since had her treatment moved to St Vincent's Hospital.
In a statement, a spokeswoman for Beaumont said that there have been no "formal complaints" from CF patients about the food.
She confirmed that such patients require up to 5,000 calories a day "during periods of disease exacerbation".
"Beaumont Hospital makes every effort to assist CF patients in achieving their additional daily dietary requirements.
"This includes fortifying foods with additional calories and protein, offering unlimited access to snacks outside of meal times and the use of nutritional supplements and/or enteral feeding when required," the statement said.
"In some circumstances, patients may choose to consume additional food brought in from outside the hospital," it added.