Saturday 24 March 2018

Desperate father of girl (9) diagnosed with rare form of cancer slams medical card delay

Our Lady's Childrens Hospital in Crumlin
Our Lady's Childrens Hospital in Crumlin Newsdesk Newsdesk

​The desperate father of a daughter with a rare form of cancer is horrified that she still does not have access to a medical card​, five months after her diagnosis.

Father-of-four Jonathon said that he applied for a medical card for his ailing daughter Laura (9) back in January - but is still waiting for it to be approved.

Just before Christmas, himself and his wife found a small leg on Laura's leg that they thought was a "bee sting" initially but turned out to be lot more sinister.

"We kept an eye on it but after Christmas it was still there so we went back to her doctor who sent us straight to Cavan hospital," he told Liveline this afternoon.

A biopsy was performed at Our Lady's Childrens Hospital in Crumlin and the rare bone cancer Ewing's sarcoma was diagnosed.

The distress at discovering the illness was exasperated by the "hundreds of questions" asked of the family in order to procure a medical card.

"We got a text yesterday about our medical card situation, that it was still under review, and that sent our blood boiling," he told presenter Joe Duffy.

"We applied back in January... we should have got that medical card from the moment we walked through St John's ward in Crumlin hospital. And so should every other family in this situation."

Jonathan said that families should be given a medical card on the diagnosis of a potentially fatal disease - and assessed on income after the fact. He revealed how distressed himself and his wife were when given the "10 page form" to fill after finding out about their daughter's illness.

"The system is wrong, just wrong... people need to realise this... This system is putting poor unfortunate parents through this concern," he added.

During her on-going treatment, Laura undergone several chemotherapy sessions a day for several days a week and Jonathan said "the build up of chemo is very hard on her".

It is expected that the 9-year-old will be continuing this treatment for at least another 12 months - and her mother has left her job in order to take care of her daughter full-time.

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