In another tale of sordid HSE unhelpfulness, a little girl’s future could be stolen from her due to lack of proper care.
The main players on this unfolding tragedy? Katie Byrne, a courageous 8 year old, her parents, and the HSE.
Katie, who was born with cerebral palsy, underwent a pioneering surgical procedure in the States that enabled her to walk for the first time in her short life. Katie’s parents raised €60,000 to pay for the procedure, which incidentally, the HSE here had said she would not be a suitable candidate for.
After her successful operation overseas, Katie was able to first stand unaided, and then walked, and run like any other kid.
But to maintain Katie’s muscles toned and working, she needs one hour of physiotherapy five days a week.
Because she underwent the operation against the advice of Irish doctors, the HSE only provides one hour a week. Without the proper care, Katie’s muscles will seize again, atrophy, and she will have to return to the dreaded wheelchair.
Katie’s parents, Antoinette and Robert, wrote personally a letter to Minister for Health Leo Varadkar, who simply replied that ‘it’s a matter for the HSE’.
Katie’s mother said that she felt like ‘the country has turned its back on us’.