Thursday 20 June 2019

Mother doesn't want families going through same ordeal

The mother of a teenager with mild cerebral palsy doesn't want parents to experience the frustration she dealt with while trying to secure transport for her son to and from school.

She is also fearful that she could face the same obstacles again.

Cameron O'Toole lives in Rathnew but attends Gaelcholáiste na Mara. Cameron didn't receive any concessionary bus tickets at the start of the school year, despite being accommodated in previous years.

This meant Cameron had to leave school early each day as it took him more than 20 minutes to walk to the bus stop. The issue was eventually rectified In October after a 57-seater bus rather than 55 was introduced. However, the long walks involved caused him difficulty, resulting in the Department of Education and Skills granting approval for another bus to assist Cameron in February of this year.

His mother, Sharon O'Toole, says the whole experience has been incredibly stressful and she would hate to see another family going through a similar ordeal.

'I don't want this to happen to another family. It has been an extremely difficult situation,' said Sharon. 'Cameron ended up breaking his foot because of the long walk to the bus stop and having to carry a heavy school bag. I'm very angry because Cameron ended up missing a lot of school. Both of us ended up extremely stressed and I ended up having a breakdown. I'm a single parent and it has been a very difficult time. I just feel that Cameron has missed out, through no fault of his own.'

She would like to thank Cllr John Snell, Garda Sarah Boland, Mel, Carol and Esther for all their assistance in helping to secure her son's transport.

Wicklow People