A YOUNG Limerick woman who contracted a life-threatening rare disease has now moved to the UK, where she will spend up to a year in the Oxford Centre for Rehabilitation.
Patricia Ingle, 22, along with her parents Pat and Annette left Limerick on Tuesday last to begin the next stage in Patricia’s fight to regain a normal life.
Ms Ingle, originally from Ballinacurra Weston but now living in Murroe, was struck down with a rare disease in 2008 and was left paralysed and on a ventilator.
She was recently awarded one of the highest ever personal injury settlements at the High Court - in excess of €7.5m to be paid over her lifetime, after taking a case against the store and the HSE, for failing to diagnose her condition in time.
She contracted chlamydia psittacosis, an airborne infection which can be transferred from birds to humans, allegedly while working in PetMania pet shop on the Ennis Road.
She was not a suitable candidate for Dun Laoghaire’s rehabilitation centre as she is on a ventilator, after being discharged from the Mid-Western Regional Hospital a fortnight ago, after spending 1,069 days in hospital.
She is due to spend her 23rd birthday in the Oxford centre on September 6 next.
Mum Annette said she felt “nervous” to be leaving her home for such a long time, but said it will be worth it for Patricia. She said she has every faith her daughter will one day be able to walk again “because she’s so determined.
“The people in Oxford said they’ll do everything and anything they can for Patricia,” she added. Dad Pat said: “Even though things are slow, Patricia likes to improve each day. We’re being realistic. We’re not aiming too high, but we’re not aiming too low either.”
The family took the ferry from Rosslare to England, with specialist nurses to care for ‘Tricia’. Her sisters Melissa and Kiera plan to visit her as often as possible.