Monday 18 December 2017

Dad's plea to James Reilly as daughter with Down Syndrome loses medical card

This is one Dad's open plea to Health Minister James Reilly to give his one-year-old daughter back her medical card.

Charlotte Sheehan had open heart surgery last year and she depends on a daily mixture of ‘high tech’ medications for her survival.

Her father's letter reads as follows:


Dear Dr Reilly,

This is my daughter Charlotte Sheehan (date of birth 8-12-12)

The HSE have been carrying out a review that you have instigated of her medical card since the middle of December 2013.

This review is ongoing and her card has expired because of the length of time this review is taking. The review office periodically drip feeds requests for additional information in a manner that seems very much like a deliberate effort to frustrate people like ourselves out of the process. My replies are always detailed and timely.

Charlotte had open heart surgery in Crumlin to repair an AVSD in March 2013, in addition to this she has severe pulmonary hypertension along with a number of other conditions. She depends on a daily mixture of ‘high tech’ medications for her survival. All her daily feeds are given via a PEG feeding tube as she is unable to take any food orally.

Charlotte has Down syndrome and like so many other children and adults with a disability she faces more challenges on a daily basis than most other people. I expect that as a doctor you know this already, but from your actions I doubt you understand the true pressures that this places on a family.

You represent the health service in this country and these medical card reviews are being carried out on your watch. The manner in which you are putting the families of children like Charlotte through constant stress and expecting them to jump through endless hoops just to get the services and treatment they need so they can get as close as possible to a normal life is disgraceful.

Eoghan Sheehan

Online Editors

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