Monday 22 January 2018

'My seriously ill child is victim of discrimination'

Jenny Prendergast and her mum Grainne Armstrong
Jenny Prendergast and her mum Grainne Armstrong
Emma Jane Hade

Emma Jane Hade

THE mother of seriously ill Jenny Prendergast has expressed her frustration over the medical card fiasco, which has left her daughter without a card for almost one year.

Grainne Armstrong revealed that her daughter Jenny Prendergast, right, has been without a medical card since last summer, despite the fact that she displays symptoms of both Rett syndrome and cerebral palsy – two separate lifelong conditions.

The dedicated mother said that her 15-year-old daughter is a "great girl", but feels that she is being "discriminated against" with the recent move by the government to stop reviews of cards.

"She hasn't an absolute diagnosis, she has symptoms of both," her mother said of her daughter's illness.

"They told us at the beginning that she would never walk.

"She is walking fair distances some days. She has a special buggy that we still use and will always use.

"She is still incontinent. She needs orthotics. She requires 24-hour care, seven days per week."

Last March, Jenny was hospitalised from a virus and vomiting bug, and her mother said that the brave young girl "was nearly gone on us".

Just months later, after she made a recovery, the family from Ballina, Co Mayo, were struck by worry again when they were informed, after routine review, that Jenny's medical card was being refused. "We were getting a review every three years, and she passed it no problem.

"But that was locally, when you had to apply locally and people knew you and your situation, there was never a problem," Grainne explained.

She said that she received a letter on April 4 this year informing her that she would issued a discretionary GP card, but that is yet to arrive.

"I am very frustrated because of the simple reason I feel Jenny is being discriminated against," she added.

Irish Independent

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