Friday 24 November 2017

Mother (84) says moving son to hospital 22km away will 'kill us both'

Eileen Gallagher with her son Liam. Photo: Matt Britton
Eileen Gallagher with her son Liam. Photo: Matt Britton
Caroline Crawford

Caroline Crawford

An 84-year-old woman whose adult son has lived in a community hospital for the past decade following a brain haemorrhage has said the Government "may as well kill us both" if they move him.

Liam McGettigan has lived in the Stranorlar community hospital for over 13 years.

He and other residents are to be moved to Letterkenny, 22km away, as the unit is to close.

His elderly mother Eileen, who doesn't drive, says she will have to consider leaving her own home and moving to Letterkenny as she cannot leave her son alone.

"I spend most of my days with him, he's so close by. My daughter drops me off and the other can pick me up. If he goes to Letterkenny, I just don't know how I will manage. It would just kill the two of us. He waits on those visits, his face lights up," she said.

Liam, a UCD graduate, suffered a brain haemorrhage and stroke 13 years ago. He was moved into the community hospital as he could no longer care for himself.

However, he gets to visit his own home twice a week with a carer.

Fr John Joe Duffy, chair of Save Our Services, a campaign to save residential care beds in three separate community hospitals in Donegal, warned voters they could chose to save local services or guarantee their closure with their decision this Friday. He urged voters to support those who have promised to reverse a Government decision to close the beds.

Irish Independent

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