Wednesday 22 April 2015

'I hope card is for life – but I won't hold my breath'

Emma Jane Hade

Published 06/06/2014 | 02:30

Adriaan Pretorius and wife Dianna Ross, with their son Ben at their home in Clonsilla. Picture: Arthur Carron
Adriaan Pretorius and wife Dianna Ross, with their son Ben at their home in Clonsilla. Picture: Arthur Carron

THE parents of a seriously ill young boy who were notified that his medical card would be reinstated by a text message from the HSE have said they are hopeful that this is a sign of progress.

However, Dianna Ross said that she remains sceptical of the good news, as she is yet to speak to a HSE official and has not been informed for how long the card for seven-year-old Ben will be valid.

"I am hopeful, but I want to see now whether this card is going to be for life. I won't hold my breath," the mother of three said.

She received the text message on Tuesday night.

Her son Ben suffers from a very rare form of epilepsy and relies on his parents for everything, as he can't walk, talk or feed himself and requires 24-hour care.

"When I get it in the post and when I see it, I will believe," she said last night.

The Dublin woman and her husband Adrian Pretorius were informed last year that their son's medical card was up for renewal and would expire in February.

She criticised the HSE for the manner in which she was informed that her son's card would be reinstated this week, and said a call would have expressed some "decency".

"It's very rude not to at least call you," she added.

"They're probably afraid to ring up because they know they will get an earful."

Dianna and her family are supporters of the Our Children's Health Campaign, which is calling upon the Government to make an amendment to 1970 Health Act, which will ensure a medical card for all children who are seriously sick or living with a congenital illness for the duration of their treatment.

An online petition has gathered more than 60,000 signatures in just two weeks.

Irish Independent

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