Tonight will be the first night that Pádraig will not be in the company of Pat or myself. Pat’s sister will be with him. I feel a bit worried and, at the same time, re-assured that this is possible and that it should, should not be a reason to worry about anymore. Isn’t that great?
Today I met and talked to a number of friends, some of whom I did not even know we had. They offered their help with getting everything here ready for the day that Pádraig returns and, possibly, with An Saol. With many people saying that he and us would have massive support from his and our friends and families. I have, to an extend, stopped making plans. We will take it one day at a time.
Today, Mary Walsh, the mother of Sara who was on Pádraig’s ward in Beaumont, also with an acquired brain injury, was on Today with Sean O’Rourke (who previously also reported on Pádraig’s case). Mary was talking about bringing Sara to a Therapy Centre in the south of Germany later this week. What she did say, but what was coming out loud and clear were two points:
- There is no adequate care available in Ireland for persons with severe ABI.
- If you want to avail of adequate treatment abroad, you will have to pay for it yourself.
Stop a moment and think, imagine you have a child. This child gets very badly injured. Now, under no, absolutely no circumstances would you abandon your child, never ever would you allow anyone to ‘store’ your child away in some institution with just a the bare minimum of care. – But this is what the State does: not only does it not provide adequate care. It happily lets you take over, it lets you do pub quizzes, car boot sales and other forms of fundraising until you have assembled enough money to move your child abroad for treatment.
Are the people in charge of this system not ashamed? Absolutely and completely utterly embarrassed? Does the possibility exist that the lack of care will never be addressed, if we decide to fundraise and then move our children abroad where they receive the treatment they require?
Meeting with the architect in the morning, followed by another work-related meeting, and then back to the airport and back to Hamburg. Can’t wait to see Pádraig again!