After 1,069 days, brave Patricia finally leaves hospital
Published 06/08/2011 | 05:00
AFTER almost three years in hospital, a 22-year-old woman -- left severely disabled by a rare brain disease she claims she contracted while working in a pet shop -- has finally spent her first night at home.
Patricia Ingle, who left the Mid-Western Regional Hospital in Limerick after 1,069 days yesterday, is wheelchair-bound and requires a ventilator to breathe.
But she bravely got to her feet with help from sisters Melissa and Kiera as she left the hospital. "She can take a few steps but with the excitement of today she was really tired so it was best to just stand," said Ms Ingle's mother, Annette.
"We've just left her hospital room. I can't believe she was in that room for nearly three years." Last month, Ms Ingle, from Limerick, secured a multi-million euro High Court settlement to help pay for rehabilitation care in the UK. In her action, she claimed she suffered her injuries after contracting chlamydia psittacosis -- an airborne infection which can be transferred from birds to humans -- while working at the Petmania store, Ennis Road, Limerick, in 2008.
She also alleged her condition was negligently mismanaged by the HSE. Later this month, Ms Ingle will travel to the Centre for Enablement in Oxford, where attempts will be made to wean her off the ventilator.
"I am very disappointed there isn't a place for people like Patricia to receive treatment here," Mrs Ingle said.
The Ingles celebrated the homecoming in a local restaurant last night and a welcome home party will take place next weekend.
Ms Ingle said she was most looking forward to spending a night in her own bed and said she might even watch a movie.