Tuesday 20 March 2018

‘Locked-in’ David crushed as bid to go home rejected

Campaign: David supported by his family and fiancee Bernadette Dolan
Campaign: David supported by his family and fiancee Bernadette Dolan
David before falling ill

The family of ‘Locked-In Syndrome’ patient David Garvey have been “crushed” by a new HSE refusal to nurse him at home.

David (33) is completely paralysed and is desperate to be moved out of Beaumont Hospital in Dublin so he can be cared for in his parents’ home in Dundalk.

His heartbreaking plight, highlighted in the Herald, has spurred his family to campaign to bring him home.

The day after the Herald story was published, a letter was sent by the HSE declaring that funds will not be made available to nurse David at home.

Fiona Murphy, acting area manager for the HSE in Louth-Meath, stated: “The estimated cost of this home care package is a minimum of €400,000 to €450,000 per annum. Unfortunately, this level of funding is just not available from the local disability services.”

The statement was delivered to TD Gerald Nash who had sought assistance for David.

David’s sister Lynn told the Herald: “We are absolutely crushed by this letter.

“In January, we were told we had got approval for David to get nursing at home and the cost to the HSE would be €200,000 to €250,000. 

“But later we were told it wasn’t going to happen because the costs would be higher. We’ve now written to the HSE seeking funds from a national emergency fund which we hope could be used in conjunction with funding from the disability services.

“We’re petrified he won’t survive another year in hospital because of the ongoing risk of hospital infections.

“David has begged the HSE to be allowed to be nursed at home.”

An HSE spokeswoman told the Herald: “While the HSE cannot comment on individuals, we can advise in this instance that the HSE has been in contact with the family concerned and has outlined all the clinical considerations as well as care costs.

“The HSE is continuing to explore with the family all possible options for future care and remains available at all times to discuss these issues directly with the family.”

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