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Sunday, 22 May 2016
‘Life is on hold’ for scoliosis sufferer
A scoliosis sufferer, who has been on the waiting list at University Hospital Galway (UHG) for almost two years, has said her “life is on hold” until she undergoes her surgery.
Aisling Corcoran has had to deal with her condition getting progressively worse while she waits to be called for surgery.
Ms Corcoran, who is originally from Castlebar, Co. Mayo, was first diagnosed with scoliosis, a painful curvature of the spine, when she was 13 and had her first operation carried out in Crumlin in 2000 where she had rods put in her back.
However the rods had to be removed in 2013 due to infection and the operation was carried out in UHG.
Since then the now 29-year-old has been waiting for another scoliosis surgery to change the position of her spine.
“My life is on hold. I can’t do anything career-wise or even go on holidays or anywhere because I’m thinking they might ring and give me a date,” she said.
The Galway Independent first spoke to Ms Corcoran in January of this year and she said she has “no update” more than three months later.
Ms Corcoran said she is in “severe pain” and still has no date for when she will get to have the operation.
“Mostly in the mornings I’d have a lot of pain and in the evenings then I get tired.
“It is severe and it’s affecting me with different things like chest pains and it makes me agitated more than anything, it’s hard to relax,” she added.
As well as weekly visits to her GP, Ms Corcoran has been attending physio twice a week in an attempt to gain some relief from the pain. However that relief is only temporary she says and long-term it has no real benefit.
Ms Corcoran said she has also contacted Fine Gael TD Michael Ring as well as Taoiseach Enda Kenny in a bid to hurry up her surgery but, as of yet, her attempts have been to no avail.
She said her and her family remain anxious until she gets a surgery date.
“My family are very worried as well. They’re stressed about it too.”
Gary Farrell, founder of support group Scoliosis Ireland, has also been pushing to get Aisling’s surgery underway.
He said the waiting times being endured by Aisling and other patients is “absolutely ridiculous”.
“For some reason Galway, because it has the lesser numbers, it does get pushed a bit and it’s ridiculous because it’s as important in one end of the country as it is in another,” he said.
According to Mr Farrell the long delays can cause increased deformity in the patient, leading to more complex surgeries and longer recovery times.
The group are currently petitioning to get school screenings made available as well as trying to bring down the waiting times for children.
He said early intervention is key and school screenings provide the chance to detect early curvatures.
“These are vital to try and get a curvature detected early. It doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to lead to anything, the curvature might not progress, but at the end of the day at least it’d be on the system to be seen rather than a parent copping it or somebody in a school copping it,” he said.
“At least if we had these screenings back in place in the schools a curvature is easier detected because you’ve trained people and specialists going around to each school which there is only one in the country at the minute so we’re trying to really push for the screenings back in the school,” he added.
The group have set up a petition and have plans to send it to the new Health Minister Simon Harris.