Tuesday 20 March 2018

'It could be years before Ciara gets surgery she needs'

Ciara Leahy
Ciara Leahy

Jane O'Faherty

The family of a teenage scoliosis sufferer say they are struggling to keep life "as normal as possible" for their daughter.

Ciara Leahy, from Castlemartyr in Co Cork, was diagnosed in May last year and is now on a waiting list for surgery.

But her mother Anne is worried she will have to wait years before she gets a procedure.

"She is going into Junior Cert and we are trying to make life as normal as possible for her," Anne told the Irish Independent.

"But we are at the mercy of waiting lists. We're thrown in at the deep end," she added.

But she said Ciara continues to be athletic and still tries to play camogie and golf on a regular basis.

Read more: 'Despair' over €50m plan to cut waiting lists

"Right now, she is playing camogie for Cork," she said.

Anne said she considered herself lucky to have private health insurance.

"If we went through Crumlin, she wouldn't have been able to be seen until after she turned 16," she said. "Then we'd have to start all over again," she added, but she stressed she still expected a long wait.

She added that scoliosis can have a particularly emotional impact on teenage girls.

In the meantime, Ciara is currently seeing a physiotherapist privately to prevent further damage to her spine before undergoing the operation.

Ciara, right, hopes to get a surgery date when she is in Transition Year, which would give her adequate time to recover.

Irish Independent

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