AN IRISH mother has penned an open letter to the Minister for Health, Simon Harris, after her 7-year-old son's heart surgery was cancelled for the eighth time.
Nóirín Kinsella, from Wexford, illustrated the tragic reality facing her family as her son Tommy, who was born with a congenital heart defect, was told his vital surgery had been cancelled yet again.
Addressing an open letter to the Minister for Health, Mrs Kinsella took to Facebook to describe how Tommy can no longer attend school or play with his friends and was rushed to hospital three times over Christmas.
Facing heartbreaking questions from her son on why she told him he could have surgery but then told him he can't, why he could not go to school and why he could not play hurling with his friends, Mrs Kinsella has asked Mr Harris, "can you please advise me on how best to explain the farce that is our health system to our 7 year old boy?"
"As a mother I am now desperate and I beg you to help".
The post, which has been shared over 28,000 times in less than one day, can be read in full below. The original post can be viewed on Facebook here.
"Dear Simon Harris TD
My name is Nóirín Kinsella and in this picture is my son Tommy and husband Gary.
Tommy was born with a congenital heart defect and had a complex atrioventricular septal defect repaired under open heart surgery at the age of 11 months in Our Lady’s Hospital For Sick Children, Crumlin.
Tommy can no longer go to school and must wear a medical mask in public along with nasal medication in a bid to keep him safe from infection. His condition is a continual nightmare for us parents .
Tommy has been rushed to our general hospital in Wexford 3 times over Christmas with low oxygen levels and blood pressure. We don’t know which is the bigger worry, the medical condition which necessitated his visits, or the fear of infection when attending Wexford General Hospital Hospital, which is virtually in a state of shut down due to the current influenza epidemic.
The picture [above] was taken this morning when Tommy was told he’s (sic) next surgery (mirtal valve repair/replacement due to take place tomorrow morning) was cancelled again, for the 8th time. We were given this horrific news when we arrived at Our Lady’s Hospital for sick Children Crumlin, from Wexford at 8 AM this morning. He had already had his blood work done today and surgery was yet again scheduled for tomorrow morning. These cancellations have all been due to the bed shortage at the hospital, emergencies and the general understaffing of cardiothoracic surgical teams. Do I need to wait until my son is rushed into hospital in a life threatening emergency for him to be treated?
At this stage we are desperate . We are hard working, tax paying citizens . We have to take time off work each time he is due for surgery.
Tommy is a very happy boy who lights up every room he walks into, he doesn’t want for much. Although he has been through more than he’s fair share in his 7 years, he never complains and smiles he’s way through life, but like every 7 year old boy, he wants to be able to play football and go back to school to be with his friends. These basic rights are being denied to him due to the reasons stated above. Nobody else can help in this situation only you and your team.
Our family set up Wexford Friends of Crumlin Children’s Hospital Charity 7 years ago and to date have raised €195,198 to date. We have provided by fundraising for this hospital where our government has failed.
This morning my 7 year old asked my husband and I “why did you say again I could have my surgery and now I can’t”, “why can I not go back to school to see my friends”, “why can’t I go play hurling and football mammy, please let me have my surgery so I can go play”. I don’t have those answers for him, so can you please advise me on how best to explain the farce that is our health system to our 7 year old boy?
The nursing and medical staff at Crumlin Children’s Hospital are wonderful, caring and highly skilled people who really are working very hard under extreme pressure. They need your support and your help, as do we.
As a mother I am now desperate and I beg you to help.
This is my boy, my hero, my Tommy
Please can everyone share 💙
Heart Children Ireland "
A change.org petition has also been set up in order to help Mrs Kinsella's letter to reach Mr Harris, which you can view and sign here.