*Marie McMahon. Photograph: Martin Molloy
AN ENNISTYMON WOMAN has said she feels “vindicated” by the scathing assessment issued by HIQA into overcrowding at University Hospital Limerick.
Tommy Wynne was 65 when he was found unresponsive at UHL in April 28 after spending 36 hours on a trolley in a corridor, he was later pronounced dead. Tommy’s wife, Marie has been one of the most vocal health campaigners in the county in the subsequent four years, seeking investment and improvement for facilities in the Mid-West region.
Patients have been waiting for a bed in the emergency department for as long as 116 hours and two days for urgent scans, the HIQA report found. It called for a new hospital to be built to take fewer acute patients and for immediate changes to bed numbers.
“It’s backing up everything we have been saying. It has vindicated everything we have been saying,” Marie said of the findings. She added, “I didn’t do this just for Tommy, but I know he wouldn’t have wanted us to have stayed quiet. This report acknowledges the fact that people are waiting for hours in there. It acknowledges the fact that this is wrong. Everything they have been doing is wrong”.
A member of the Mid-West Hospital Campaign, Marie said the group will continue to demand improvements. “I can’t give up, we have to try and make it better. Now we can see light at the end of the tunnel, we are being listened to and we have been heard”.
She continued, “The fact this was allowed to go on for so long is wrong, people were being patronised and told nothing was wrong”.
Marie remains angry with politicians in the Mid-West. “But for those politicians who still continue to bang the other drum, shame on them for not listening to us. I spoke to politicians after Tommy died and some of them never came back to me.”