Elderly Limerick man’s two hour hospital stay lasts 17 weeks

Gerard Fitzgibbon

Reporter:

Gerard Fitzgibbon

AN elderly Limerick man has said that he has been stranded in hospital for 17 weeks and has “nowhere to go” this Christmas after his house was burned down.

AN elderly Limerick man has said that he has been stranded in hospital for 17 weeks and has “nowhere to go” this Christmas after his house was burned down.

Kevin O’Sullivan, aged 65 and from St Mary’s Park, has been living in a ward at the Mid Western Regional Hospital in Dooradoyle since he suffered a fall at his home on St Munchin’s Street in August.

Mr O’Sullivan insists that he is healthy enough to go home, but has no place to go to as his house was destroyed in an arson attack four weeks after he was admitted to hospital.

“When they brought me in the first time, they told me I’d only be in for two-and-a-half hours. I didn’t even take a coat or a pair of trousers with me. I’m in here 17 weeks, I’ve nowhere to go”, he said.

Mr O’Sullivan lived at his former home for 60 years, and since the death of his mother in 1983 he shared the house with his brother, Francis. However Francis passed away on August 2, and twelve days later emergency services had to be called to Mr O’Sullivan’s home after he suffered a fall.

“The gardai and the emergency [services] had to break the door in. But when they were taking me to hospital they said I’d be back by 6pm. I believed them.”

However Mr O’Sullivan was kept at the Mid Western Regional Hospital for a number of weeks, as he had gall stones removed and underwent a number of tests.

Disaster struck in September while he was still in hospital when his home, which was located in between two vacant properties, was seriously damaged in an arson attack.

“They stuck petrol in through my letter box for no reason. The guards told me nothing,” Mr O’Sullivan said.

Since then, he said that he has met with Regeneration officials in the hopes of finding a new home in St Mary’s parish, but to no avail. Mr O’Sullivan said that he has two sisters, one living in Ballinacurra Weston and the other in England.

He said that he fears he may have to spend Christmas on his own in hospital, or that he will be discharged with nowhere to go. He is steadfastly refusing to be sent into care, insisting that he is able to take care of himself.

“They want to put me in a home, but I wouldn’t budge. First they wanted to put me into St Paul’s, but St Paul’s was full. Then they were talking about Caherconlish, but I wouldn’t. I haven’t left this hospital for the past 17 weeks. They said I’d be out by 6pm. I believed them. It’s not my fault I’m in here”.