A Letterkenny teenager was sent home from Beaumont Hospital on Friday afternoon, when a test scheduled for surgery to remove a tumour from her pituitary gland was cancelled.
The 16-year-old had already been fasting since midnight in advance of the procedure. Family and friends had held parties for her the weekend earlier, to wish her luck and a speedy recovery.
“It was emotional for her, for all of us,” the teenager’s mother, Triona, said.
The procedure was cancelled because there were no anesthetists available, she said.
Triona said she could not emphasise enough how pleased she was with the neurological team that has been working with her daughter, Chloe, since January, when her case was transferred from Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin, to the team at Beaumont.
Chloe was diagnosed this past July with a recurrence of Cushing’s Syndrome, a metabolic disorder caused by abnormally high levels of the hormone cortisol.
“I can’t stress enough how happy I am with the neurosurgeon and his team,” Triona said. “But their hands are tied.” She said the neurosurgeon has told her several times that her daughter is on his mind, and has been in touch with her a number of times, even ringing during the evening.
Surgery scheduled for Friday
The surgery had been scheduled for last Friday, but last Thursday night, the night before, they learned that the hospital wanted to conduct a test first, before surgery, to confirm the diagnosis. However, the test still required an anesthetist.
“Now we need to do this test, wait for results and then go ahead with surgery,” Triona said. She said she accepted that the hospital wants to have that confirmation before they proceed. But the family must now wait now for a phone call to let them know when the test can take place, and the surgery has been pushed back further as a result.
The mother of three, Triona is juggling the trips to Dublin with responsibilities for her two younger children.
“I feel like everything’s just on hold and we have to wait and wait,” she said. There were no summer holidays this year because they were awaiting the call from the hospital to say when the surgery would take place.
“There’s no question but the tumour has to be removed,” Triona said. ”Everything else can be dealt with medically afterwards.”
As a result of the metabolic disorder that Cushing’s Syndrome has caused, Chloe has gained six stone since last September. Her confidence has plummeted since she gained the extra weight, and she has not been going down to the town, her mother said.
Her circle of friends have been very supportive, Triona said. “She said to me it has been a good lesson for her,” she said. “She knows who her true friends are.”
Tuesday was Chloe’s first day back at school for this school year. “I can’t put her life on hold anymore,” Triona said.
“She’s very strong. She’s holding her own,” she said of her daughter.
“But there are times she’ll just obviously have her moments where she’s upset and she’s wondering, ‘When are we going to get this operation?’”