Sunday 30 April 2017

Megan ‘devastated’ as surgery delayed again

Another blow for scoliosis sufferer (13)

Megan Ryan with her mum Sharon Halvey Ryan. Photo: Liam Burke/Press 22
Megan Ryan with her mum Sharon Halvey Ryan. Photo: Liam Burke/Press 22

David Raleigh

An "extremely ill" Limerick girl who was scheduled to have surgery to help correct a massive double curvature on her spine has had her operation delayed again.

Thirteen-year-old Megan Halvey-Ryan's plight sparked national outrage after she appeared on 'The Late Late Show' last month to highlight delays in her surgery.

Despite being on a surgical waiting list for the past 18 months, Megan received word from the HSE a few hours before her 'Late Late Show' appearance that her operation was booked for Thursday, March 9.

However, Megan's mother Sharon said that she received communication from the HSE on Tuesday, informing her that her daughter's surgery had been cancelled due to a high number of emergency surgeries scheduled at Crumlin Children's Hospital, Dublin.

Ms Halvey-Ryan said they have now been told Megan's surgery is rescheduled for March 23.

"Were devastated," she said.

Outlining her daughter's present condition, she said: "Megan is not great, she's very upset. She can't eat and she is finding it very hard to breathe and sleep at night."

Photos of Megan's twisted spine were shown with her permission on the 'Late Late Show' in order to raise awareness about scandalous delays on surgical waiting lists for scoliosis sufferers.

"She has an 83 degree thoracic curve on the top of her spine, and a 65 degree lumbar curve on the base of her spine," Ms Halvey-Ryan said.

Effect

"She has extreme high rib rotation and it is now having major effect on her organs - her bowel; her stomach; her lungs."

Yesterday the family were travelling to Crumlin children's hospital for an assessment.

Read more: 'Please minister, can I have my op?' - desperate plea of 12-year-old in pain

She said Megan's spinal curve is likely to be far worse than what it was eight months ago - the last time her daughter was assessed for surgery.

"She did the post-op assessment eight months ago; it's a medical assessment which will examine her respiratory system, and her bloods, and she'll undergo more X-rays on her spine," she said.

"We only found out two days ago that her surgery for March 9 was cancelled. We understand emergencies happening at the hospital, but if my daughter's scoliosis is not an emergency I don't know what is - in my opinion she is extremely ill.

"Scoliosis is considered an elective surgery so whenever there are a lot of emergency surgeries to be performed at the hospital the scoliosis patients get bumped down the list.

"It happens all the time."

Ms Halvey-Ryan added: "This has happened to us before. That's why I said (on the 'Late Late') that I was sceptical about Megan's surgery going ahead on March 9.

"I'll only believe it when she is actually on the operating table in the surgical theatre."

Fianna Fáil TD Niall Collins said the news was "shocking".

Irish Independent

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