Maqdalena Konazyk from Co Clare had enough of languishing on a hospital waiting list for three years for a procedure that took just 30 seconds.
Ms Konazyk (41), who is Polish and has been living in Lahinch for over 20 years, needed a scan to assess her very painful varicose veins.
The scan shows the blood flow and the treatment also involved radiofrequency ablation which closes off the varicose vein in the leg.
She was among thousands of patients from the Republic who availed of the cross-border directive scheme which allows for reimbursed treatment in another EU jurisdiction.
"I went to the Kingsbridge Hospital in Belfast and now the pain is gone."
The scheme has been life-changing, not just for her but also for her parents Lucja (62) and Andzej (69), who live in Lisdoonvarna and who have also availed of it to escape waiting lists.
Access and treatment delays are among the top complaints from patients faced by the HSE.
"My mother needed a knee replacement and was on a waiting list in Limerick for nearly four years," she said.
She also availed of the cross-border directive in May and it has transformed her life.
"My father is having the same varicose veins procedure as I had."
The scheme requires the patient to pay the cost upfront and the family took out a loan of €13,000 from the credit union. Her mother's operation cost €12,500 and they were reimbursed for €11,500.
The varicose vein treatment costs €2,500 and they are reimbursed for €2,200.
Ms Konazyk said she would urge other patients if they can to explore the scheme and get on with their lives.
She went back to college in recent years, training to be gymnastics coach. She now feels ready to resume her career in 2020.
The HSE said some 3,501 people availed of the scheme last year and were reimbursed for €8.9m.