HSE U-turn on Donegal cancer survivor

Sue Doherty

Reporter:

Sue Doherty

- Okay given for him to receive pain relief treatment in Dublin

- Okay given for him to receive pain relief treatment in Dublin

Thomas Keaveney, the 40-year-old father of two, who was refused pain relief treatment at a Dublin hospital because he was from “outside the catchment area” is to receive the treatment after all, the Donegal Democrat can reveal.

A delighted Thomas just received the news that the HSE has approved funding for the treatment which will be given “as soon as possible.”

He told the Democrat: “I got a call from Senator Jimmy Harte the night before last to tell me that he thought the approval was going ahead. He said I should ring the hospital the next day to confirm, which I did.

“Dr O’Keeffe returned my call on Thursday afternoon to confirm that the funding had been approved.

“It’s just like winning the Lotto, to be honest. It’s great news. Dr O’Keeffe was as happy as me: he was just over the moon.

“He asked me how I did it and I told him it was the media and the local politicians working together, putting the pressure on with all the publicity.

“I’m not the type of person who wants to be going to the media but I had no choice. It was that or just sit there in excruciating pain all the time.

“I had two goals in going to the media and the local TDs and senators, to get treatment for myself and to to encourage other people to come forward, to use their voice and fight for their rights.

“I just hope that other people who are in the same boat as myself get their treatment.

“If it wasn‘t for everyone working together, the media and politicians, I would still be sitting here in limbo.

“I’d like to thank them all, and Dr O’Keeffe asked me to thank them on his behalf as well, especially Thomas Pringle TD and Senators Jimmy Harte and Brian O Domhnaill.

“Both senators have said that they are going to raise the issue in the Seanad on Wednesday. It’s not going to go away. There are other people out there who are still suffering and they need help too.

“I’d also like thank my family and my partner Brid for standing by me, and everyone who has given me such wonderful feedback. They all gave me the strength to carry on.”