THE family of the late Susie Long, who died of bowel cancer in 2007 after waiting seven months for a test, have spoken of their relief at confirmation that six palliative care beds will soon be opened in their local hospital.
The beds are being opened in St Luke's Hospital in Kilkenny, thanks to money raised from the Susie Long Hospice Fund, which was set up in her memory.
The case of the young mother of two, which highlighted the long waiting for public patients needing a colonoscopy to find out if they have bowel disease, caused major controversy at the time and was a catalyst for change.
Her husband Conor Mac Liam, who is a candidate for the Anti-Austerity Alliance in Kilkenny city west, said: "Today is an emotional day for us, as the promise of a hospice for Kilkenny begins to turn into a reality."
He was joined by his children Aine and Fergus.
Mr Mac Liam added: "We are delighted that progress is now being made in bringing this vital service to the people in our community who are terminally ill and their families also.
"We hope this development in St Luke's will help remove the turmoil that many patients and the families go through."