Sunday 18 March 2018

My child had to go on TV twice to get HSE action

Megan Halvey-Ryan with her mum Sharon Halvey Photo: Liam Burke/Press 22
Megan Halvey-Ryan with her mum Sharon Halvey Photo: Liam Burke/Press 22

Laura Lynott

THE mother of scoliosis sufferer Megan Halvey-Ryan said she's "frustrated" her 13-year-old daughter's private life had to be "exposed" twice on national TV in order to finally get a vital operation to ease her pain.

Sharon Halvey (43), from Dooradoyle, Co Limerick, said like most mothers she had wanted her bright young daughter to have privacy - but she felt forced to appear on TV to highlight the teenager's case because the HSE moved too slowly to offer surgery.

Megan first appeared on the RTÉ Investigates 'Living on the List' documentary, where she wept in pain with the curvature in her spine.

And last Friday, the teen diagnosed two years ago, appeared on the 'Late Late Show'. That morning the HSE phoned Ms Halvey to finally provide Megan a pre-operative date on March 2 and an operation date on March 9.

The mother believes had they not appeared on TV, they could well still be waiting today.

"I know Megan wasn't scheduled for any surgery, as I was ringing Crumlin Children's Hospital everyday continuously, so I don't know where the order came from but I know the hospital had to have been told by someone high up that 'she's not to go on the Late Late without a date after the documentary.'

"It frustrates me so much as a mother because no mother ever wants to put their child on TV, to expose their private life like that, particularly as Megan is a teenager, she needs privacy.

"I now hope that this Government, the Minister for Health, Simon Harris, the Department of Health and the HSE, stick to improving the system, that the Minister stays true to his statements that things will improve."

Irish Independent

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