Thursday 27 October 2016

Tragic teen's brother calls on future government to 'cop on' and make health priority number one

Cathal McMahon

Published 25/04/2016 | 19:45

Breda Kevane died in hospital with her parents by her side
Breda Kevane died in hospital with her parents by her side

A young man who lobbied for his sister to get a life saving operation has demanded that health become “priority number one” for any incoming government following her death.

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Breda Kevane from Tralee in Co Kerry suffered from spina bifida and hydrocephalus, and was in need of an urgent operation on her airways that wasn't available at her local hospital.

Breda (19) was in an induced coma in the intensive care unit (ICU) at Kerry University Hospital when her brother Paddy began a determined campaign to highlight her plight.

However, despite a successful transfer, tragic Breda died on Sunday morning in her brother's arms and surrounded by her parents Kevin and Agnes.

Speaking on the Right Hook on Newstalk tonight Paddy Kevane has told how he wants his sister’s story to be a “beacon of light” for the health system.

“I do hope that whoever goes into government might have bit of cop on and they might put systems and finance into health.

“People can move into a house, people can get water, people can do everything, but people can't come out of their grave.

He continued: “The health needs the funding, it should be priority one.”

Paddy Kevane thanked everyone who helped over the last number of months.

“I have no regrets, I’m glad we went public. We left no stone unturned.

“Breda is home now, I am going to spend the next few hours with her and she’ll have her funeral mass tomorrow.”

He explained that funeral will be in St John’s Church, Tralee tomorrow before being buried in Dingle afterwards.

“That’s life. I hope she will be a beacon of light for the health system. That it gets better and that no family will have to go through this again.”

Paddy launched the campaign last month on the Newstalk show.

At the time of the campaign, the HSE said that it would be inappropriate to comment on individual cases, but they had contacted the two hospitals involved to get an update on their overall ICU situation.

Paddy's heartfelt plea of #BedForBreda worked, and secured a bed for his sister in Cork University Hospital at the end of March.

She had spent over two weeks in an induced coma, but awoke and was "conscious and aware" on April 6, providing hope for her family.

Speaking this evening Paddy explained that they painted her room bright yellow ahead of her anticipated return. However she tragically lost her battle to survive.

“She’s in there now in her coffin. We thought she’d be in there sitting up talking to us.

“At least by going public I got three or four vital weeks with her that I was able to talk to her. And I’m delighted with that.”

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