Accident victim, Anthony Doran (centre), pictured with his parents Tom and Kathleen, at Naas Hospital. Picture: Tony Keane
The family of a 29-year-old road traffic victim from Dunlavin, who has spent nearly a year in Naas General Hospital and is next in line for a placement at the Brain Injury Ireland Residential Unit in Lucan, fear he will lose his place unless the HSE grant the necessary €154,000 funding per year.
Anthony, also known as Jack, Doran was knocked down by a lorry on the M6 in the UK on June 29, 2017, and suffered multiple wounds and a severe injury to his brain.
His dad Tommy and mum Kathleen, as well as fiancée, Shauna Higgins from Naas, all travelled over to the UK after the accident where they were told it was “second by second” for Anthony. He spent five and a half weeks in a coma at the Royal Stoke Hospital.
“He broke his hip, pelvis, foot in nine places and had to have a 13 hour operation on his brain and his face restructured,” said Kathleen.
“He has come so far since then but he needs that spot now to complete his journey.”
Anthony was transferred to Naas General Hospital last October. He has come on so much since the accident that his parents can take now him out for the day.
However they cannot take him home full-time as he is not ready and he would lose his acute bed in Naas.
“He just needs that extra bit of care,” said Tommy. “He has short-term memory loss now but he has come on in leaps and bounds. He is in a single room here which could be freed up if he left.”
According to Tommy, it is costing the HSE a lot of money — at €700 a day — to keep his son in an acute bed at Naas GeneralHospital. “We take him home during the day but he sleeps here at night.”
Anthony added that he “gets a bit confused” still since the accident and thanked his parents, family, fiancée and everyone at Naas hospital and in the UK for his treatment to date.
“I had a one in a million survival rate,” he said. “My brother Patrick was with me and he saved my life.”
His dad added that Anthony since gets upset and angry. “We need this place as they provide the treatment he needs. He has come as far as can go here in Naas.”
Anthony’s fiancée Shauna said that the family “needs to get him out of here”.
“We have tried everything. He hasn’t been refused as of yet by the HSE but he hasn’t been approved either. He has been allocated a place alongside three other people in the house but without the funding he will lose it.”
The family were told previously by the HSE that there is currently no funding being allocated for hospital discharge patients.
“Six months might be all he needs in the residential unit as his skill set is high, but he can’t stay in hospital for ever and we’re running out of time.” The family have been informed that the waiting list for treatment at the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Dun Laoghaire would bring them to 2019 at the earliest.
“He has the super bug infection CRE and needs an isolated room and that takes longer on the waiting list,” she added. “It makes no sense as the HSE are already paying for him to have an acute bed here in Naas. Everyone here as been very good to us but we now just need to get him the support he needs.”
While Anthony has been medically fit enough to be discharged from Naas Hospital since February, he still needs the required rehabilitation to help his brain recover. “There is no support if we discharged him,” said Shauna. “The support services are all saying that they can’t get involved in his treatment until he gets the required rehabilitation. He has come so far since the accident when we were told he would be left in a vegetative state.”
A statement from the HSE said: “Naas General Hospital does not comment on individual patient care matters. However, the Hospital are working with the family and have identified an appropriate placement which is available. The granting of funding for the placement is a matter for HSE Kildare/West Wicklow.
“The hospital will continue to advocate for Mr Doran.”