Empty theatres, but Bridget still waiting for vital surgery
THE mother of a child with a rare neurological disorder waiting more than a year for an operation said last night she is appalled that theatres at the country's leading children's hospitals are being underused.
Bridget O'Driscoll (5) suffers from Rasmussen's Encephaliti.
The condition -- which leads to a chronic inflammation of the brain and epilepsy -- can cause brain damage.
She was diagnosed when she was just two years old.
The little girl from Douglas in Cork can suffer up to 500 epileptic seizures a day and has spent the first five years of her life in and out of hospitals, sometimes for up to five or six months at a time.
She is also wheelchair-bound.
Her medics have tried everything to bring the seizing under control and her mother says on occasion she had to be put into an induced coma.
Twelve months ago her mum was told Bridget needed two operations, one to locate the part of her brain which is causing the seizing, and a second procedure to disconnect this portion of the brain.
However, 12 months on, the little girl is still waiting for a date for that surgery.
Her mother, Breda, spoke to the Irish Independent last night after an an unpublished report revealed Temple Street Hospital is underusing theatre time by 28pc, Our Lady's Children's Hospital in Crumlin by 28pc and Tallaght Hospital by 17pc.
"It has come to the stage now where her doctors have realised there is no further recourse except surgery," Mrs O'Driscoll said.
"My daughter is stuck in a wheelchair while we wait on surgery that could greatly enhance her quality of life," she added.