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Teen in agony for 60 hours waiting on emergency op

A TEENAGEr was left waiting over 60 hours in Tallaght hospital for emergency surgery after she suffered severe stomach cramps with suspected appendicitis at the weekend.

Estelle Lawson (19) from Brookfield, Tallaght, feared her appendix would burst when doctors did not perform surgery on Monday -- and by Wednesday morning she was still frantically waiting for surgery.

The sick girl had been rushed to hospital last Sunday at around 8.45pm. Doctors told her they suspected a problem with her appendix or ovaries, and would intervene the next day.

But while Estelle began fasting for surgery on Sunday night -- believing she was an emergency case -- she was still in pain, without food, and without surgery by Wednesday morning.

The girl's family became extremely distressed when they realised that Estelle -- who was an emergency case -- was still waiting over 60 hours later.

Speaking from her hospital bed Estelle had told the Herald: "I'm in pain with my stomach, and I was thinking what if this is my appendix and it does burst, and what will happen then?"

Despite Estelle's frantic attempts to get a definite answer, she was constantly reassured every day that the surgery would take place.

Estelle was eventually called to surgery at around 12pm on Wednesday where doctors finally removed a cyst in her ovaries. Estelle finally had her first meal in days on Wednesday evening.

"It's the fact that I was sitting here since Sunday with headaches, I was very tired, and couldn't sleep. I'd been fasting ever since and I was really starving, I couldn't even drink water."

Her uncle Keith added: "Her mam is distraught. It's not right. It should have been a routine thing."

Estelle insists doctors should be more upfront to patients about schedules, and she should not have been left for so long fasting.

"They just said they were really busy and that they hadn't got the time, and they said a few more people were more serious than me."

"It's very upsetting and very frustrating. They kept saying I'm an emergency case."

She told the Herald: "It was really frustrating at the time. I had a cough at the same time but I couldn't take water for it. I cried on a lot of occasions because the cough was so bad.

"They could have at least told me at the time that it's not going to happen today, and you can eat now but start fasting again at 12am."

A spokesperson from Tallaght hospital said it could not comment on individual cases.

She added: "The hospital can confirm that patients are kept under constant review and the most urgent cases are taken first."

But Estelle and her mum Sharon had been terrified that the pains were from her appendix, and it would burst any minute.

Estelle is now recovering from her surgery and relieved that her problem has finally been sorted.

"It's sorted now -- nothing serious came of it. That's the end of it now, and hopefully I'll be home tomorrow."