Chloe's family moving to France to help her brain cancer recovery
A COUPLE have decided to move to France so their daughter can receive proper treatment following a brain cancer operation.
Chloe McCall (12), from Brittas Bay, Co Wicklow, underwent an 11-hour life-saving operation to remove a tumour from her brain in 2009.
The ordeal left her weakened and needing rehabilitation for her speech and motor skills.
While she receives only half-an-hour a week of physiotherapy and rehabilitation in Ireland, her family say she could be placed on a five-day programme in France.
Chloe's father Keith told the Herald: "We were on holidays in France and we were told we could visit the hospital in case something happened," he said.
"On the day we went there was a consultant meeting and they met Chloe. They asked us how many months post-op she was.
"When I said four years, we could tell by their response something was wrong."
From there Mr McCall, his wife Lisa and their elder daughter visited a specialist centre in Angers, where they were informed of the extensive treatment Chloe could receive there.
"In France, every child gets the treatment that they need," said Mr McCall.
"In Ireland, they're providing treatment for a patient that would only be suitable if it was the best-case scenario following surgery."
The first year of Chloe's treatment will have to be paid for by her family, but after that it will be free and the schoolgirl will be treated as a French citizen.
Mr McCall was quick to point out that they did not want to attribute blame for their decision to anyone who cared for Chloe in Ireland.
Instead, he said that health groups such as Enable Ireland are working within very tight budgets.
"We're not going to play the blame game. All of the staff and the doctors that we have dealt with have been 100pc," he said.
Mr McCall admitted that the move to France for their daughter's treatment in Angers in the Loire Valley would not be easy.
But he added: "We know it has to be done for Chloe."
Mr McCall said the family have been receiving great help, with a number of fundraising events lined up.
A music, raffle and auction night has been organised for the Grand Hotel in Wicklow on April 12, and the family are seeking donations of auction and raffle items.
Anyone who wishes to help the family can contact them on firstname.lastname@example.org