Tuesday 24 April 2018

'Deteriorating every day' - parents reveal fears for young children left waiting for vital surgery to straighten their spines

Limerick teenager Megan Halvey-Ryan suffers from scoliosis – an abnormal curvature of the spine. Photo: RTÉ
Limerick teenager Megan Halvey-Ryan suffers from scoliosis – an abnormal curvature of the spine. Photo: RTÉ
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Two concerned mums revealed their fears for their young children as they wait for much needed scoliosis surgery on the Late Late Show tonight.

The parents shared their stories of their youngsters' deteriorating condition due to the illness which leads to an abnormal and painful curvature of the spine.

Vickie Kelly, whose young son has a severely curved spine spoke to host Ryan Tubridy about her son's condition and said she feared he would end up in a wheelchair if he did not get the surgery he needs.

Meanwhile, another mum, Valerie Cassidy, said her daughter Sienna (7) is "deteriorating every day in front of us" as she waited to be treated.

Sharon and her daughter Megan Halvey-Ryan (13). Photo: RTÉ
Sharon and her daughter Megan Halvey-Ryan (13). Photo: RTÉ

Megan Halvey Ryan returned to the show to speak about her surgery to correct an abnormal curvature in her spine due to scoliosis - an operation she waited more than two years for.

Megan (14) had suffered pain for years and her plight moved the nation when she appeared on RTE's Living On The List TV documentary, which told of how her family's hopes for the surgery were repeatedly dashed.

She also appeared on the Late Late Show last February before she finally underwent surgery in March

 

"The first time I got a good look was when I had my first shower at home... and I just started crying," said Megan.

"It was amazing to see I had a flat back and there was no bump at all," she said.

Her mum Sharon, who said she is thrilled with the results of the surgery for her daughter, told the host that she is still angry over the delays.

Because of the delay in having her surgery Megan had to have her entire spine fused, which may have been avoidable.

As a result, her mum said she "can't bend down to tie her shoe laces, she's very restricted".

"I'm delighted because Megan's after getting her life back, she's a different girl. She looks fantastic, she feels fantastic but it could have been a lot easier," said Sharon.

Meanwhile, two other mums revealed their fears for their own young children who are waiting for surgery to correct their spines.

In one case a little boy may end up in a wheelchair if he does not get the surgery he needs. In another case a little girl (7) is ""deteriorating every day" her mum said.

In a statement to the show the HSE said that there is a commitment in place that no child needing spinal surgery will be waiting more than four months by the end of the year.

A new surgeon in Our Lady's Children Hospital in Crumlin is due to begin work on Monday.

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