Failure to ease plight of 12-year-old Wicklow girl is inhumane

Social Democrats TD Jennifer Whitmore has again called on the Minister for Health to immediately intervene in the case of a child in desperate need of scoliosis surgery.

Deputy Whitmore, who is the party’s spokesperson on Children, has now raised the plight of 12-year-old Miley McKee, from Greystones in Wicklow, in the Dáil on two occasions this month.

“Minister Donnelly and the HSE need to act now to end this young girl’s needless suffering as she has been waiting for an operation for two years.

“Miley, who was diagnosed with scoliosis eight years ago, had her procedure postponed because no tracheostomy nurse was available. This was despite a year of medical preparation, including x-rays and blood work, and a consultant being in place for her surgery.

“Her spine has over 100-degree curvature, which according to experts is rarely seen in the developed world. It is simply scandalous that the only thing standing in the way of her surgery is the lack of a post-op tracheostomy nurse.

“The Minister has received the same letters as I have from Miley’s parents, who have revealed she is in constant pain and is profoundly disabled. They have described her treatment by the State as child abuse and it is hard to disagree with them.

“To have Miley linger on a waiting list for any longer would be unforgiveable and a stain on our health service.

“Children like Miley deserve access to timely scoliosis treatment. The resources invested in getting her to this point will go to waste if a tracheostomy nurse cannot be provided. This shocking case proves that major efforts are needed to deal with the crisis in scoliosis care.

“I am deeply unhappy with the vague response I received in the Dáil today from the Tánaiste, who simply replied that he would look into it. It is also regrettable the Minister for Health left the chamber just moments before I raised Miley’s case.

“It is simply inhumane for a child to be left to suffer like this. What exactly does her family have to do to get the Government to act?”

November 17, 2022

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