independent

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Mother waiting on wheelchair housebound for three years

Eileen Kilcoyne and her daughter Kelly Denning in their home, which Eileen hasn't left in three years.

A 68-year old mother suffering from rheumatoid arthritis says she has not been able to leave her home in the last three year because she has not been given an appropriate wheelchair.

Cavan woman Eileen Kilcoyne has suffered from the condition for more than 20 years, but due to her arthritis getting worse, the only way she gets further than her front door is in an ambulance.

The mother has missed christenings, weddings, communions and other celebrations due to her illness, she told Joe Duffy on Liveline this afternoon.

"I used to love going out for my bingo. Simple things like that I used to love," she said.

"I haven't got a bit of fresh air in three years. Open a window here and that's about it. I'm not in my 80s or 70s. I'm still a young woman. I still think I'm entitled to a wheelchair. Entitled to a life."

Ms Kilcoyne, who lives with her daughter Kelly, as well as her son-in-law and two granddaughters, has lost all of her top teeth over time as she hasn't been able to get to a dentist.

"The dentist can't come out to see me. The optician can. I have to do without my teeth, which is very sad. The only thing is I love my television and love my reading and my country and western music.

"I have brilliant faith. I used to have it on the radio, but not anymore. My local priest comes out every month," she said.

Her house was tested with an appropriate wheelchair and she got to sample one, while made a huge difference to her life. Still, a fitted wheelchair has not been allocated to her. She said she has been in contact with TDs about her need for a wheelchair, but to now avail.

"One day, they could be like me, but the difference is they have money. I don't."

Irish Independent

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