Sunday 24 September 2017

Brave Darragh has a pain-free summer at last - but further wait for surgery is on the cards

Darragh with his mother Claire
Darragh with his mother Claire
Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

A Kilkenny schoolboy who endured a 15-month wait for spinal surgery to treat his scoliosis condition is enjoying his first summer free from pain and fatigue for years.

A Kilkenny schoolboy who endured a 15-month wait for spinal surgery to treat his scoliosis condition is enjoying his first summer free from pain and fatigue for years.

Darragh Cahill (7) was among hundreds of children who faced long delays as their spinal condition deteriorated.

His mother Claire said yesterday: "It is now eight months since the surgery. He has made a great recovery.

"Since his surgery his quality of life has improved immensely. His lung function has increased, he has gained weight, he is very active and happy in himself.

"He is able to enjoy his days and doesn't need to sleep during the day. He can be a happy child again without having to deal with chronic pain and tiredness."

Darragh Cahill is all smiles on holidays
Darragh Cahill is all smiles on holidays

However, Darragh will need more surgery as he grows and will have to go back on a waiting list.

The HSE is promising that no child with scoliosis who needs surgery will wait more than four months by the end of the year - but parents remain sceptical.

At the end of February, there were 312 children on the waiting list and this dropped to 305 at the end of June.

"There are a huge number of cases to get through before the end of the year," said Claire.

The HSE is planning to send some children to private hospitals in this country and a number are going to hospitals in the UK.

Parents have been told waiting times for spinal surgery are still 15 months to 18 months depending on the consultant. Our Lady's Hospital Crumlin promised three days of surgery - but this has yet to happen.

Irish Independent

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