herald

Saturday 21 October 2017

Wife's X-ray appointment comes 14 years after death

A TALLAGHT man whose wife died from cancer has received an X-ray appointment for her from Tallaght Hospital - 14 years after her death.

John Dale said he did not know whether to laugh or cry when he opened the letter addressed to his wife, Linda, who passed away in March, 2000 from ovarian cancer at the age of 43.

The letter asked mother-of-two Linda to attend for an X-ray spine cervical procedure at its radiology department on August 6 at 10.30am. It was dated July 3 this year.

"I saw the letter in a brown envelope and it was addressed to Linda. I wondered what it could be and I was absolutely shocked when I opened it," John told the Herald.

"Linda has been dead for 14 years, and here was a letter from Tallaght Hospital inviting her for an X-ray," he added.

"To think her name has been on a waiting list for 14 years is unbelievable," said John, from Tymon, in Tallaght.

"I didn't know whether to laugh or cry," he added.

"There are people in pain in their homes waiting for appointments and this is what's going on."

John said he could have rung the hospital and had Linda's name taken off their records.

"But then I decided to go public about it to highlight the issue. It just shouldn't happen," he said.

"It's terrible to think that people are actually being left waiting for years for an appointment," he said.

counselling

"This letter has dragged everything up for me and my family," he explained. "We went through counselling after Linda's death. It was terrible."

Tallaght Hospital said the incident was a matter for the Patient Advocacy Department, which acts on behalf of current and past patients of Tallaght Hospital and their families.

It said it has notified the department, the staff of which were available to speak directly with Linda's family in relation to their concerns.

John said Linda was referred to Tallaght Hospital for tests in 1999 when she started to suffer stomach problems, and was scheduled to have a number of tests.

But later that year she moved to St James's Hospital and was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and died just 10 months later.

"When Linda was being treated in Tallaght she was put on a number of different appointment lists for tests and X-rays. This procedure was obviously one of them," said John.

cfeehan@herald.ie

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