Friday 23 February 2018

'Seven times I have been brought to A&E' - Heartbreaking public plea by mother of autistic son for intervention by the HSE

Adrienne Murphy. Photo: Facebook
Adrienne Murphy. Photo: Facebook
Adrienne Murphy. Photo: Facebook
Geraldine Gittens

Geraldine Gittens

A mother has issued an emotional public plea to the HSE to urgently provide care for her severely autistic 14-year-old son who has been having "psychotic and violent episodes".

Adrienne Murphy posted an emotionally charged video on Facebook yesterday where she describes how helpless and desperate her situation is. The video has been viewed over 55,000 times online.

She said her severely autistic son Caoimh has had “increasingly more violent psychotic episodes where he is very, very self-injurious and would smash his hands off hard surfaces, beating his head off walls to the point that he bruises himself.

“He is violently aggressive towards me and my other son who is also a minor to the point that in the past two years, we have had seven interventions from the emergency services.

“Seven times I have been brought to A&E when his violent behaviour gets out of control.

“The last time we dialled 999 he was smashing up the house and he was completely naked. He was going completely insane.”

Adrienne broke down as she described her home situation and told viewers that she is at breaking point.

“We were brought to A&E for sedation," she said. "I spent a week with him on a ward in Crumlin Children’s Hospital during which time he had two further violent outbursts.”

In this heartbreaking video, Adrienne, a well-known campaigner for autism rights, explained how Caoimh is incontinent at night and has to be locked into a box room for fear that he would get access to kitchen appliances downstairs.

Adrienne said she had believed on Caoimh’s last hospital admission that a place in residential care would be found for him.

But she said: "I had to bring him home and continue to look after him and at that time I requested emergency residential care for my son because clearly his needs have gone way beyond my ability to care for him even though it’s heartbreaking for me and I want to keep him at home."

“The HSE promised me four months ago that the funding was in place… they said that they know we’re in an emergency situation, that he’s gone to the top of the list for austistic young people who require residential care.”

“Not only is Caoimh a huge risk to himself and to me and to my other child, we are living in brutalising, dehumanising conditions because as well as being severely disabled – he can’t even wash his own hands – he is doubly incontinent at night.”

“He won’t wear pull-ups (pants)… he’s having bowel movements twice a night. He has a commode in his room but he can’t use it independently, hygienically, if I don’t get up twice a nice to help him because I’m so exhausted.”

“I want him to be safe,” the mother said, as she broke down.

In a statement on her Facebook page, Adrienne said last night that she is now at breaking point, and she will called an ambulance to go to Crumlin Hospital. She says she will stay at the hospital until a place is found for Caoimh.

“I took the step of calling emergency services and travelling by ambulance with Caoimh to Crumlin Children's Hospital, where we are currently in the admissions process. We have no intention of leaving here until Caoimh is admitted into the residential care place earmarked for him, that is currently lying empty, yet which we are told by the HSE can not yet be made available to him.”

“We are now at breaking point and there is no going back,” she said.

A spokesperson for the HSE told independent.ie: "The HSE are aware of this case and are working with the family. The HSE will continue to work with the family in relation to home support and other care options."

Meanwhile, Adrienne added: “Despite the fact that he is severe and incapable of speaking I’ve managed to break him out of a locked in state over the last two years.”

“He’s highly intelligent and is a very sweet natured, beautiful person.”

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