herald

Monday 11 December 2017

It's just devastating -- our long battle has ended in bitter blow

DUBLIN mum Colette Dunphy (31) is devastated that the plans for the new national children's hospital now lie in ruins.

Her son Braiden (7) was born with a heart condition and attends Our Lady's Children's Hospital Crumlin on a weekly basis as an out-patient.

He has previously undergone surgery there, and the "care that he had there was second to none," said Colette, whose dad is well known soccer pundit Eamon Dunphy.

She described the decision by An Bord Pleanala as "devastating news because it's been so long that we have been fighting for it".

Colette said that although not everybody agreed that the Mater site was the ideal location, "we need a new children's hospital, and it didn't really matter to us where it was located if we got the facilities that we need".

She said that the way it looks now, children who are born within the next five or six years who are poorly will find themselves in the existing hospitals. A new hospital would have made a big difference to parents, she believes.

"When Braiden was in during the summer, we spent a few months in there. There were times when Braiden was so sick, he could not get out of bed but he needed X-rays. But the new specialist X-ray equipment won't even fit through the door to get into his room because the doors are so narrow," she said. "The new hospital would have allowed our children to have space to recover," she said. It would have included special parents' accommodation, so parents of sick children wouldn't have to sleep on the floor as they do now.

"There is parent accommodation in Crumlin, but you cannot sleep beside your sick child, and when your child is very sick you want to be with them."

Ms Dunphy added: "We would have had bigger intensive care rooms, and the facilities would have been a lot better.

"Our children are recovering from major operations in rooms that are damp."

hnews@herald.ie

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