Grandmother waiting years for hip op has to 'crawl to get up stairs'
A grandmother who has been waiting for a hip replacement for more than three years says she now has to crawl up the stairs in her home.
Maureen Judge (65), from Trim, Co Meath, claimed she had to wait more than two years on a list to get an initial appointment with an orthopaedic consultant, which took place in March 2018.
After a second meeting with a different consultant at Our Lady's Hospital in Navan last December, she is still waiting for a date to be set for her operation.
In the meantime, Ms Judge describes her life as a 'living hell' and is no longer able to shop, clean her house or even sleep because of the agony.
"This is my fourth year living with the pain and hospital X-rays showed I needed a new hip years ago," she told the Irish Independent.
"I'm at the stage where I have trouble putting on my socks and even washing my hair is torture.
"I rarely go upstairs anymore as I have to crawl up the stairs, I sleep on the couch to get some relief. Even at that, I wake up three or four times with the pain.
"I use a zimmer frame and walking stick and have to hold on to chairs, doors and the walls to get around my house.
"My life is like hell on Earth and that's no exaggeration. I can't do anything any more, only read."
Due to health complications, Ms Judge can only take paracetamol for the pain.
"I don't remember what it's like to walk properly, but if I got a new hip I'd walk for Ireland," she said.
The HSE has promised to look into her file but says it can't comment on any individual case.
It said there are currently 105 patients on the waiting list for a hip replacement at Our Lady's Hospital in Navan, four of whom have been waiting over nine months for surgery.
"There are currently 3,510 people in total on the out-patient waiting lists in Navan, which are not specific for hip or knee patients," it said.
"Our Lady's Hospital recently received approval to introduce a waiting-list initiative to significantly reduce this list from April."
Describing the situation as "incredible", leader of Aontú Peadar Tóibín, a Meath West TD, said: "There needs to be front-end investment in order to clear these lists now."