Sunday 18 August 2019

'It's not right' - Eoin (15) waits in pain for his vital spinal surgery

Powerless: Eithne Bracken with her son Eoin (15). Photo: John Allen/Provision
Powerless: Eithne Bracken with her son Eoin (15). Photo: John Allen/Provision
Laura Lynott

Laura Lynott

Eoin Bracken (15) suffers severe pain from a serious spinal condition but doesn't know when he will get the operation he so desperately needs.

The schoolboy from Bandon, Co Cork, was on holiday last summer in France with his family when they discovered an outward curve in his spine.

When they returned home his mother, Eithne, a nurse, "pushed" for an X-ray and he was diagnosed with Kyphosis, a condition sometimes referred to as "roundback".

The spinal disorder means Eoin needs a spinal infusion - the same procedure used to treat scoliosis patients.

But so far there is no telling when the teenager will receive the operation and his life has stalled a great deal due to this, said Ms Bracken.

"At Christmas I felt Eoin was a lot worse," she said. "We'd already seen a specialist publicly in August, as I had pushed for that. But in January this year we had to see him privately in Tralee and my son was placed in the severe category.

"He's been on the waiting list since then and it's very difficult to deal with. Eoin is doing his Junior Cert this year.

"I've been told not to expect anyone to see my son until January 2020. I said that wasn't on.

"He looks worse and worse and he's a teenager so he can't socialise as he used to and that's just not right.

"He's withdrawn from himself and if we are out for the day, he's tired out when we come home.

"My son is a great kid and he never complains even though he's in an awful lot of pain," she added.

"It's so hard as a mother, as a nurse, to watch my son go through this and I feel powerless to help.

"We were lucky we were able to be seen privately in January but now we are stuck on the public waiting list with absolutely no idea when Eoin will receive the operation."

Irish Independent

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