Sunday 22 October 2017

Dad whose son (2) is waiting two years to see scoliosis specialist says 'it's like someone is sticking a knife in him'

Noah Doyle (2) has severe scoliosis
Noah Doyle (2) has severe scoliosis
Amy Molloy

Amy Molloy

A two-year-old boy who was diagnosed with scoliosis on the day he was born has been waiting ever since to see a specialist about his condition.

Noah Doyle, from Co Louth, has severe scoliosis and suffers from "unbearable pain" with the spinal disorder.

His father Adam Doyle said his son requires 24-hour medical care due to the multiple health challenges facing him.

He has yet to see an infantile scoliosis specialist and despite doctors assuring the family Noah is on the waiting list, they have been given no indication as to when he will eventually get an appointment.

Speaking on the Pat Kenny Show on Newstalk today, Mr Doyle described the pain his son has to live with.

"He will have episodes during the day which for whatever reason - be it that he moves slightly in one direction and it nips something - he just screams uncontrollably.

"It is as if somebody has stuck a knife into him; that is the only way I can describe it."

Mr Doyle said that sometimes his son's seizures are so bad, doctors become panicked.

"They are quite taken aback when they see him again, ask about his scoliosis and realise he hasn’t yet been seen," he said.

"All I have been told – and I appreciate it is not the person on the end of the phone’s fault – but all you are told is that he currently is on a list, he doesn’t have an appointment and each time, including up until last week they can give me no indication as to when an appointment will become available."

Despite all Noah's difficulties, Mr Doyle believes there is still a chance for him to live his life.

"He certainly will develop and has developed much more slowly than other kids but at the same time, I am conscious that we keep talking about all of these problems.

"Noah will smile at you, he giggles at you, he makes funny noises, he loves music, and he loves Mickey Mouse on TV."

Mr Doyle said that all he wants is for his son to have a life and have "as much happiness and as pain free an existence as he can have."

Four-month waiting list

Health Minister Simon Harris announced last month that a target of a four-month wait for treatment for scoliosis will be met by he end of this year.

Following a damning report by the Children's Ombudsman on delayed surgeries, Simon Harris repeated his commitment to speed up access to the life-changing operations to correct spinal curvature.

"This absolutely is a priority for me, for the Government and for the Health Service Executive (HSE) this year," he said.

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