TWO years, 11 months and four days - that’s the length of time a young Limerick woman struck down with a rare disease has spent in the Mid-Western Regional Hospital.
And now, after 1,069 days of fighting to reclaim her “normal” life, Patricia Ingle will finally come home to her family this Friday.
Her delighted parents Pat and Annette told the Limerick Leader that they are looking forward to having their daughter home after nearly three years in hospital.
“We are delighted. Patricia is very excited now. Nothing is going to stop her now and we hope she won’t pick up any infections,” said Mr Ingle.
Ms Ingle, 22, was recently awarded one of the state’s highest ever personal injury settlements at the High Court - in excess of €7.5m to be paid over her lifetime, after she contracted a rare disease, allegedly while working in PetMania pet shop on the Ennis Road.
A native of Ballinacurra Weston, she is paralysed, wheelchair-bound and has to be fed through a tube after contracting chlamydia psittacosis, an airborne infection which can be transferred from birds to humans.
It will be an emotional moment in the hospital as ‘Trisha’ says goodbye to the nurses and doctors who have cared for her throughout her ordeal.
Mr Ingle said despite taking proceedings against the HSE for alleged negligence in not diagnosing her condition in time, they are leaving the hospital “on good terms” with the HSE and hospital management.
Patricia will require the attention of specialist home-care nurses and therapists at their new home in Fernane, Murroe.
A massive party with 110 invited guests is planned for Saturday, August 13, in their home, where Patricia will celebrate being discharged and dress in a Cinderella style dress which was carefully chosen online.
When the clock strikes 12, her family said, “she won’t have to go anywhere, she can stay at home”.
Mum Annette said her daughter recently enjoyed a shopping trip in Dundrum shopping centre in Dublin, after receiving a €300 gift voucher on ‘The Morning Show’ on TV3. She joked that she had plenty of energy to “spend that and more” as the excitement of her discharge from hospital mounted.
She is due to move to the Oxford Centre for Enablement in England for specialist rehabilitation care a week later.
The centre provides specialist neurological rehabilitation services for patients with long-term conditions, and she will be assessed there for three weeks.
Her period of stay could be three to nine months depending on her progress.
Her parents have booked into a B&B nearby and her sisters plan to travel over as often as possible.
Her sister Melissa said earlier: “None of us are going to give up hope and Trisha herself is just so determined to get better. There’s always room for improvement, and we’re always saying ‘never say never’.” Patricia is hoping to write a book of her journey to recovery.