herald

Monday 20 August 2018

Tragic Amy (17) loses fight for life just before op

ANGER: Her grieving mum slams treatment of CF patients here

THE grieving mother of a beautiful 17-year-old girl who lost her battle with cystic fibrosis has called for more hospital services for CF sufferers.

Amy Lawler died in St Vincent's Hospital after a donor's lungs were found to be unsuitable just before she was due to have a transplant operation.

Her mum Kathleen said her gorgeous daughter was constantly at risk of infection in Irish hospitals and that the Irish health system was "crazy".

"We were always concerned about infection. It's kitting out the rooms with en suites that's the major thing needed at the moment. In Vincent's they only have eight en-suite rooms, and the other patients have to go anywhere in any ward throughout the hospital.

"It's just a crazy system. It's 2011 now and nothing major has changed in the years since she first got her illness.

"I think there should be more wards for CF patients so that people are not at risk.

"The care is outstanding but we need more facilities to care for patients.

"At least then they wouldn't have the risk of infection."

Amy suffered an infection after an operation in Crumlin hospital around five years ago, and she it took her seven weeks to fight it off.

Oxygen

"She had a peg put in for food, and then she got an infection and she was really set back after that. She was in hospital for seven weeks.

"She fought and fought all of the time, thinking that she was going to get the transplant."

Amy, from Palatine, Carlow was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis aged two, and for most of the past few years she was on oxygen machines 24 hours a day to help her breathe.

"She was an amazing girl. There'll never be anyone else like her. She touched the hearts of so many people, both young and old.

"She never complained, she just got on with everything. She was just a remarkable person.

"She had an amazing amount of friends and she knew everyone even though she wasn't able to be out much. She was always on her laptop and communicating to her friends that way."

Amy was full of hope just a month ago when she was told that she may be suitable for a lung transplant at a Newcastle hospital.

Kathleen added: "She was depending on oxygen all the time in her latter years.

"She couldn't go anywhere because she'd have to bring the oxygen tanks with her. She hadn't been in school in the last couple of years.

"She was called to Newcastle, but the donor lungs weren't suitable. She had to be brought to Vincent's then and she was still hooked up to a machine.

"In her last days she was just in and out of sleep." She died on January 27.

Cards

Her mum has appealed for more people to carry donor cards.

"There's a major need for people to carry donor cards," she said. "All that she hoped for was her transplant. It was just so devastating for her because she would have loved just to be able to go to school.

"She kept saying, I'm going to fight it until I get another call. She was saying, please God I'll get the transplant."

hnews@herald.ie

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