The family of a teenager left paralysed after a nightclub fall said her standard of care has dramatically improved one week after they complained that the facilities first offered in a Cork hospital were “totally unsuitable”.
Ciara O’Brien (18) was transferred to Cork University Hospital last week following treatment in Dublin and, at the time, her family spoke about their fear that CUH was ill-prepared to cope with the young teen’s needs.
Speaking to 96fm’s Opinion Line, aunt Maria O’Mahony told the Cork radio station that when the teen arrived there was no bed or wheelchair available, nor was the six-bed ward properly prepared to receive her.
Now the teen, who suffered severe spinal injuries when she fell from the roof of the Moorings nightclub in Kinsale, has been given her own private room and access to a wheelchair.
“Things have moved on thankfully… physiotherapy and counselling has also been arranged,” Ms O’Mahony told the Irish Sun.
“Her spirits were broken by the way she was treated by the health system. But she’s happier now.”
Ms O’Mahony had complained that her niece could not even brush her teeth the first night in CUH because she was unable to get from her bed to the room’s shared sink.
The paraplegic teen was being treated in the specialist National Spinal Injuries Unit at the Mater Hospital in Dublin since the accident last month.
“Ciara had been doing well at the Mater, she was upbeat but she was floored by this. They should have had a plan for Ciara. It’s like she’s been forced to start her recovery all over again,” she said.
The HSE had previously pointed out that CUH “is a very busy hospital with approximately 80 emergency admissions daily”.They said that when Ciara arrived at CUH on Tuesday they were “waiting on 11 ambulances to transfer patients to other facilities and this unfortunately caused a one-hour delay for a patient to secure their bed”.
A spokesperson for CUH told Independent.ie when Ms O’Brien arrived “[The hospital] was exceptionally busy with approximately 80 emergency admissions daily.
"[On Friday] we were waiting on 11 ambulances to transfer patients to other facilities and this unfortunately caused a one-hour delay for a patient to secure their bed.”