Brave Limerick teen set for surgery

Mother Sharon says she is waiting 'on tenterhooks'

Nick Rabbitts


Nick Rabbitts


Brave Limerick teen set for surgery

Brave: Megan, 13, with her mother Sharon Ryan

BRAVE Limerick teen Megan Halvey-Ryan is expected to finally have crucial surgery in Crumlin hospital this week.

The thirteen-year-old, who lives in Dooradoyle, has been waiting for almost two years to have surgery to cure her scoliosis, which is an abnormal curving of the spine.

Mother Sharon says she is waiting “on tenterhooks” for tomorrow morning, when she will call Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital before, hopefully, her and Megan can travel to the capital.

“The standard admission policy for the hospital is, if you’re travelling from afar, you have to wait. They rang us and told us to wait for a phone call to say if the bed was available for her. But i’m going to ring them myself,” Sharon confirmed.

The mother of the Villiers secondary school student has hailed the support her family have received from the people of Limerick.

“Everyone has been fantastic, I have to say. Our fireplace is full of cards. Strangers, I don’t even know how they have gotten my address, but they have sent cards to us. Megan has had messages on Facebook. I’ve had parents of children she went to primary school with wishing me well. Everybody has been great,” she told the Limerick Leader.

A previous date which was provisionally scheduled for the surgery earlier this month was deferred due to a more urgent case requiring attention.

The teen's surgery comes after the Children's Ombudsman released a report entitled: Waiting on Scoliosis treatment: A children's rights issue'.

The report contained the testimony of several struggling children.

Sharon attended the launch of the report, along with other families who are campaigning for change in treatment.

"I think one thing that was mentioned yesterday was it's international best practice for a child to have surgery between three to six months after being told they need it.

The report showed that children were waiting up to 18 months for surgery and such a low target was "absolutely disgraceful in a developed country like Ireland and it's a total breach and violation of children's rights", Shron said.

Health Minister Simon Harris has pledged this week that no child will wait longer than four months by the end of this year, bringing Ireland in line with Britain.