08 Aug 2022

Mother of Kildare boy says Ireland 'needs to make a stand' on surgery cancellations

Mother of Kildare boy says Ireland 'needs to make a stand' on surgery cancellations

Pic Supplied: Eddie Brett

The mother of a boy with two separate medical conditions from County Kildare has said that the nation 'needs to make a stand' on surgery times and cancellations.

Lisa Brett told the Leinster Leader that action must be taken as soon as possible over the issue, pointing to her son Eddie as an example of a child that has been negatively affected by surgery cancellations.

Eddie is an eight-year-old boy who has both Spina Bifada and Hydrocephalus, which refers to a build up of fluid on the brain.

Commenting on her son, Lisa describes herself as a proud mother: "Eddie is a vibrant young man; he is fun loving and full of life."

She added that Eddie attends a mainstream national school, where he is very popular, and also loves movies, TV and playing his Nintendo switch with his brother and friends.

Ms Brett also said that her ambitious youngster plans to be a singer one day, and have Lady Gaga be his support act at his concerts.

In addition, he also wants to make a "super car" that would do anything for you by voice control.

"Eddie is all of the above and more, we haven’t got a care in terms of his personality and social skills, but due to his conditions, he is a full-time wheelchair user and what we do have major concerns about is surgery wait time."

"Eddie was due surgery to straighten his feet in March 2019, and we are still awaiting a date for that surgery."

Ms Brett further explained that her son finds it difficult to straighten his feet into his wheelchair to have them in a correct position for the day: "Not having these surgeries is limiting the blood supply to his feet. He could get pressure sores because of this; he can not now go into his walking frame anymore.

"This means his internal organs will also be affected because he can not now stand.

"Eddie's surgeon wanted to have 5 different corrective surgery's done on his feet by the time Eddie was 12, we are still waiting on his second."

She added that Eddie would be at a high risk of Covid-19 due to his condition and that her family are worried about hot the virus could affect him.

"Since Eddie has been born, my eyes have been open wide to the issues that disabled people face: many people wouldn't notice how difficult society is for wheelchair users in our country.

"For example I have seen many wheelchair parking bays witch are not accessible at all for a wheelchair user due to there being a high curb or a sloped path... for a wheelchair user to use the spot they have to park there car and to get onto the curb must go against the traffic on the road to access a curb low enough to get up on the path, it is ridiculous."

Ms Brett does carry hope for her young son, and all others like him, as she welcomed the news for planned for a site at Cappagh hospital.

It will cost €5.1 million and will reduce waiting time by 400 per cent for 82 other families of children with Spina Bifida waiting on vital surgeries.

She has called on the HSE to grant the necessary funding for this facility to go ahead, explaining: "The pandemic has nothing to do with it; this problem of wait times and surgery cancellation has been there well before Covid.

"A report by the HSE and Temple St Hospital in 2014 stated that the department looking after children with Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus was grossly under funded, under staffed, under resourced and failing children.

"A friend of mine gave them the names of all 82 children waiting for surgery in 2018 and told them to do something about it, and nothing has been done since."

She concluded by issuing an assertive message to the Irish public: "Do not be the one who brushes this problem under the rug, it’s not going anywhere; your help will be another step forward to making this facility happen."

Anyone who wishes to donate to Eddie's family and find out more about his life can do so by visiting

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