herald

Sunday 23 September 2018

Desperate mum's plea to Minister over hospital cuts

A mother whose child will need further heart surgery has demanded an end to battles over health funding.

Brenda Mohan said parents of seriously ill children should not be mentally tortured by public wrangling over funding for healthcare.

Her son James (9) will need a heart transplant when he gets older unless there are new medical breakthroughs.

The Dublin mother -- who endured a wait after a previsous operation for her son was adjourned -- said Health Minister James Reilly's public statement about "no more money" for cash-strapped Crumlin childen's hospital only "added to the stress" of parents of children awaiting surgery.



Vital

Our Lady's Children's Hospital has claimed it will run out of funds in November and an emergency cash bailout is vital to prevent deferrals of treatment and longer waiting lists for surgery.

The mother-of-three said all leaders in Ireland's health system must pull together to sort out funding problems instead of heightening tensions for families worried about their seriously ill children.

Mrs Mohan (43), of New Cabra Road, said: "I have experienced the terrible stress of having my son's heart operation postponed. Parents must not be made to endure any more anxiety about cutbacks delaying their children's treatment.

"When James was just eight-months old he needed a heart operation and we were so worried he would die before he got the surgery.

"We were asked to bring him to Crumlin for the operation. We stayed overnight with him at the hospital but the next morning we were told he was not getting the operation because they didn't have enough beds or staff in the intensive care unit.

"We had to bring him home again. It was such a worry. We worried ourselves sick but he finally got the operation a month later. So we know what parents are going through since the latest announcements about a lack of funding," she said.

James, who had another operation to help correct a congenital heart defect three years later, will need a transplant when he matures if medical sciences have not devised another solution.

"I thank God James is a very well child. I feel so lucky," she said.

But Brenda and her accountant husband Shane (43) remain worried the current funding crisis will continue until James needs his next operation.

Brenda is a volunteer for the Heart Children Ireland charity whose chief executive Margaret Rogers has warned waiting times to see a heart specialist in Crumlin are already 18 months.

The charity relies on the generosity of the public to buy badly needed cardiac equipment for ill children.

"There are 112 children on the waiting list for heart surgery. They should not be made to wait even longer because of cutbacks," said Brenda.

aokeeffe@herald.ie

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