A CORK man has said he will never forgive the healthcare system after his mother passed away in an overcrowded A&E and was left for hours with just a screen pulled around her dead body.
The man, Steve Crowley, described the horrific conditions in which his mother passed away at Cork University Hospital just two weeks ago.
An only child, Steve returned home from Australia 14 years ago to care for his mother Evelyn when she became ill.
Evelyn was diagnosed with Multiple sclerosis (MS) and Steve became her carer.
He told the Neil Prendeville Show on RedFM about the horrific conditions she endured in A&E when, just a couple of days after her seventieth birthday, her condition worsened and she was taken to CUH in an ambulance.
Evelyn was left waiting for two and a half hours before she was eventually moved into the building and put on a trolley in a corner of A&E.
She had developed sepsis, which proved fatal for her.
Steve said it completely took over her body and his mother passed away within ten hours: “It happened so quick. It was like a light going off.”
Steve said his mother's body was left for several hours.
“They had no room to put her in so she was in the emergency department with a screen pulled around her. I was crying, trying to come to terms with this.
"The priest came in to say a prayer and people were constantly putting their head around the curtain.
"We eventually got mam to a small room after a couple of hours.
"I was so angry that the mother I loved and cared for was treated like this. I'm so angry with the system but not the staff.
"I'm barely able to function with grief and sadness. Mam deserved so much better than that.”
A nurse was eventually able to obtain a small room that was ill-equipped to fit a hospital bed.
Every time the door opened it would hit against his mother’s bed, Steve said.
He paid tribute to the incredible hospital staff who tried their utmost to provide some privacy for himself and his mother following her passing.
“This is how Irish people are being treated in their final moments,” Steve said.