herald

Thursday 14 December 2017

Aaron (10) had heart operation in a 'falling down' hospital

THE parents of a boy with congenital heart defects have revealed their anger after planning permission for the new National Children's Hospital was turned down.

Ten-year-old Aaron Carey has already undergone four operations in his short life, including three open-heart surgeries, as he suffers from Shone's complex, a condition where the left side of his heart is undeveloped.

His mother Aisling Carey said there were delays for surgery due to lack of beds at Our Lady's Children's Hospital in Crumlin.

She had hoped that the new children's hospital would solve these problems.

Aaron was one of several children who took part in a consultation event in Dublin Castle in 2009 to discuss the design of the new hospital.

So Aisling was extremely disappointed to hear that the site had failed to receive planning permission from An Bord Pleanala yesterday.

"They've wasted so much money. All those millions spent planning for a project that is likely to never come to pass could have been spent on improving other facilities and units," she said.

"Crumlin is trying to raise money for a new cardiac unit and it's left for us parents to fundraise because if we leave it to the Government, nothing will ever get done."

Crumlin Hospital is the national centre for paediatric cardiology, and Aisling said that while the staff are "wonderful", the "building is falling apart".

"When Aaron was out of critical care and one of us would stay, you had to pick up a small old green flimsy mattress which you then had to try to lay out on the floor next to your child's bed.

"I remember that when we were in St Brigid's ward, there was only one bathroom for all the kids, and perhaps two toilet cubicles.

"And although it's meant to be a ward where children with congenital heart defects get treatment, there was such a lack of beds everywhere, there would always be children with other types of conditions.

Aisling Carey is organising an 80s disco for Heart Children Ireland in St Mary's GAA club in Leixlip on March 9, to raise funds for a new cardiac unit in Crumlin.

hnews@herald.ie

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