'More will die like my brother until we get cath labs'
A woman whose brother died while being transferred from Waterford to Cork for a heart procedure has used a special first anniversary vigil to plead for better cardiac services in the south-east.
Catherine Power admitted the past year has been "a total nightmare" for her family. Her brother, Thomas (40), died in an ambulance en route to Cork after attending University Hospital Waterford (UHW) with a suspected heart attack.
UHW was unable to provide major cardiac intervention and he was referred to Cork University Hospital (CUH) some 130km away.
Catherine has written to Taoiseach Leo Varadkar warning that people will continue to lose their lives until the south-east gets round-the-clock cardiac services.
A coroner's inquest jury last April issued a recommendation that Health Minister Simon Harris review resuscitation drug packs in ambulances for patient transfers between hospitals. This came after it emerged the ambulance transferring Mr Power ran out of special adrenalin doses.
Despite the south-east having a catchment of 500,000 people, the UHW cath lab only operates from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.