Senator Jennifer Murnane O'Connor
A Carlow senator has told the government that a Carlow family - whose son was delayed treatment for his cancer - "can wait for Christmas but they cannot wait for care".
Brandon Bolger, 10, was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma – a rare disease affecting bone or soft tissue – last March.
Since then he has been receiving strong doses of chemotherapy at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital Crumlin every two weeks.
The schoolboy was unable to receive treatment last Friday and was left waiting to get a bed, despite being told last week that there would be one available for him.
Senator Jennifer Murnane O'Connor was speaking in the Seanad this week to the Minister of State at the Department of Health, Catherine Byrne.
Senator Murnane O'Connor said: "I met a father this week in my constituency office in Carlow, Craig Bolger, he has asked that I use his name because he wants me to be his voice.
"His son's chemotherapy which has to be administered on time was delayed by five days this week. This little boy is seriously ill, why did this happen?
"During this delay, Craig shouted loud enough and eventually on Tuesday, he got his son a bed.
"This is just not good enough. He should get a bed when he needs it, but we now have a system that to actually make change happen the public have to make a huge noise about it.
"We cannot have a system that is not treating our children because of capacity or funding or stretched resources whatever the reason.
"Children on waiting lists for diagnosis, children on waiting lists for surgeries, children on waiting lists for care, for treatment, to be seen, to be heard. I would like you to tell me why this has happened not once but several times and to many children, not just Brandon.
"I beg you today to stop this.
"I beg you to promise me, to promise Craig that his son will never have to wait for chemotherapy again, that any child on this island will not have to wait for chemotherapy again. They can wait for Christmas but they cannot wait for care."
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