Saturday 21 September 2019

Mum is at her wits' end as ill son (5) waits months on list

Sheila Tangney, with five-year-old son Caiden, who is waiting on an endoscopy
Sheila Tangney, with five-year-old son Caiden, who is waiting on an endoscopy

Eilish O'Regan Health Correspondent

THE mother of a young boy who needed an internal investigation to help diagnose his illness has spoken of the stress of spending months on a waiting list.

Sheila Tangney, of Newbridge, Co Kildare, was told her son Caiden (5) would face a wait of three-to-six months before he got an endoscopy at Our Lady's Hospital for Sick Children in Crumlin.

He suffers from low iron and a lack of energy and doctors say the only way they can try to find out the cause is to do the scope. This involves inserting an instrument with a tiny camera to allow them see inside his body.

Caiden was previously on another waiting list for the same procedure, before doctors decided he did not need it – only to change their minds again.

Ms Tangney said: "I don't know what Caiden's condition is. It could turn out to be benign or something serious."

It was only after she wrote to the hospital's chief executive Lorcan Birthistle that Caiden was told he would get the treatment he requires this week.

"The endoscopy was cancelled after waiting for months. But doctors later decided he needed the procedure and he is back on the waiting list again," she added.

Caiden was put on high-dose iron supplements but his mother was advised that he should come off them.

This led to fears that his energy levels would plummet again when he started school.

His parents would have gone private but this wasn't possible because it was an open list, without any distinction between public and private patients.

But Ms Tangney said the family did not want to queue-jump anyway, adding that it was "not fair that all children are not seen in a reasonably timely manner".

A spokeswoman for Crumlin hospital said that as of the end of August, 125 children were waiting up to three months for an endoscopy.

The HSE said that 645 children had been waiting longer than the 13-week target, while €2.5m had been spent on improving the service.

Irish Independent

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