herald

Saturday 16 December 2017

Harney must quit, says CF victim's dad

THE father of a 22-year-old cystic fibrosis sufferer who died after contracting a bug in hospital has called on Health Minister Mary Harney to quit.

The death of Luke McIntyre is proof that the Irish health service is in dire need of a radical overhaul, said Luke's dad John McIntyre. And for that to happen, Mary Harney must quit, he said.

The Herald printed harrowing images of Mr McIntyre with Luke shortly after he told his son he was dying due to the bug he had picked up in hospital.

The images showed the two men embracing -- tragic Luke passed away just a day later on May 8.

Mr McIntyre contacted Joe Duffy's Liveline programme and told RTE Radio One listeners the tragic story. "I am calling for Mary Harney to resign. The Department of Health should be run by a doctor or professor who understands the effects their decision have on patients in hospitals," he said.



PROMISE

Speaking to the Herald, Mr McIntyre said: "I remember a few weeks before Luke died when he was in in hospital and he coughed up about three litres of blood, and he asked me then if he was dying.

"I didn't know, so I told him, 'If you find out you tell me, and if I find out I'll tell you' and that was a promise I kept. I was not going to lie to him.

"He actually asked me that question three times in all over the days, and the last time he asked me I couldn't lie. He just looked at me and it was like a delayed response. He went quiet, silent, and then he got out of the bed again and gave me another big hug," Mr McIntyre recalled.

Talking about speaking out about CF care in such a personal and honest way, Mr McIntyre said he has been crying with joy and sadness ever since.

"I'm shattered. But I wanted to speak out. I had to grab the opportunity. But I felt it was important for Luke, and that he would have done the same if he could," Mr McIntyre said.

He now hopes that by raising awareness of the lack of proper facilities for CF sufferers more will be done to make the proper care available.

cfeehan@herald.ie

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