Scoliosis teenagers take surgery protest to the Dail
teenager Chloe Nugent has days when she "breaks down" after school because of the pain from her scoliosis.
Chloe (16) was diagnosed with congenital scoliosis - curvature of the spine - when she was only three days old.
She is among a group of children and teenagers who have been waiting for surgery for up to two years.
They and their furious parents took their protest to the Dail yesterday.
Chloe, from Raheny, is struggling with her condition and feels unable to wear the same clothes as other girls her age.
She said she is embarrassed about the way she walks and conscious that other girls her age might be looking at her.
"Some days I come home and I just break down," she said.
Her mum, Tracey Kennedy, said she is fed up that her daughter is on a lengthy waiting list.
Chloe was referred to Crumlin Children's Hospital as an infant and received regular check-ups and X-rays until she was around 11.
But she was seen for the first time in three-and-a-half years last September and told that the curve in her back had become much worse and she would need surgery.
With no operation in sight, Tracey said she is distraught for her daughter.
"People don't realise how bad scoliosis is, and the pain Chloe is in and how it affects her mentally," she said. "The Government have to take notice."
Fellow scoliosis sufferer Sophie O'Grady (14) and her mother Linda Watts travelled from Tuam to highlight their plight.
"When the others my age are going out beautifully made up, I will be at home with back aches for company," said Sophie.