Story of ten-year-old scoliosis sufferer from Cork moved Labour leader to tears

Story of ten-year-old scoliosis sufferer from Cork moved Labour leader to tears

Adam Terry.

LABOUR leader Alan Kelly said the story of a Cork boy, who has spent years waiting for scoliosis surgery, moved him to tears and that he felt compelled to raise the issue.

Last week Mr Kelly read a letter in the Dáil that was written by 10-year-old Adam Terry from Whitechurch detailing his struggles.

“Dear Taoiseach, I am from Cork, like you. You know my story well by now,” Adam wrote.

“Will you please ensure I get the treatment and aftercare I so desperately need so I can get back to school and play with my friends, who I miss so much?

“I really, really need your help. Thanks. Adam.”

After the letter was read, the Taoiseach said no child should have to wait for vital surgery.

“It is complex surgery, but that is no excuse,” Micheál Martin said.

He said that he had raised the issue with Stephen Donnelly, the health minister, and the HSE.

Speaking to The Echo during a visit to Cork this week, Mr Kelly said a number of people in Cork had raised Adam’s story with him.

“It’s heartbreaking. I was actually crying,” he said.

Speaking with Adam and his mother, Mr Kelly had asked Adam to write a letter to the Taoiseach that he could read in the Dáil.

“There are just some things that you have to do in life and that was one thing I had to raise,” he said.

Despite assurances that Adam would undergo surgery last year, Adam’s mother, Christine, was told in February that they would have to wait at least another nine months.

While the family have now been given a provisional date of October 29 for Adam’s operation, the surgery is not guaranteed — if an emergency case comes in or the hospital does not have an intensive care bed, it will be cancelled.

Mr Kelly said this is a poor reflection of Ireland’s healthcare system.

“To give people hope and then potentially take it away again would be unacceptable.

“I fully understand Adam’s mum’s argument — she’s right, Adam is an emergency.

“His scoliosis, the curve is so bad that some of his bones are touching each other. He’s in constant pain. He has to crack his back just to give himself some relief. He is an emergency,” Mr Kelly said. “I want to know on October 29 that it’s [the operation is] happening. That’s my wish and desire for Adam.”

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