Wednesday 14 November 2018

Campaigner 'Rosie' loses cancer battle

Susie Long claimed hospital delays condemned her to an early death
Susie Long claimed hospital delays condemned her to an early death

Mum-of-two Susie Long (41) used the alias 'Rosie' to tell radio listeners that she would die "because of hospital waiting lists".

Mrs Long touched hearts with the emotional plea in an email to Joe Duffy's 'Liveline' programme in January.

She did not use her real name for fear of upsetting her children, Aine (19) and Fergus (14), but later spoke on the programme, revealing that she had to wait seven months for a colonoscopy to diagnose her bowel cancer.

Husband Conor said that Mrs Long died on Friday night at Our Lady's Hospice in Harold's Cross, Dublin, and said the family was "just devastated".

She will be cremated at Mount Jerome Cemetery this afternoon.

Mrs Long's email highlighted that a private patient had received a colonoscopy within three days of seeing his GP, but she had to wait months.

"I'm happy he's going to live. He deserves to live. But so do I," she wrote in her email.

"All people should get good care despite their incomes."

Her close friend Janette Byrne, of Patients Together, said she never gave up in her battle to improve patient care.

"She was so strong right up to the end," she said, but added there was still a huge amount of work to be done to improve cancer care in Ireland.

In the aftermath of Mrs Long's campaign, Health Minister Mary Harney granting funding for a new 24-bed day unit at St Luke's Hospital.

Mrs Long was originally from Ohio, USA, and later lived in Callan, Co Kilkenny. She and her husband were both employed but said that they did not opt for private health care because of the prohibitive cost.

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