Cork amputee will get new prosthesis after a long time of ache 

CORKMAN Eddie O’Brien, aged 78, who misplaced one in every of his legs when he was simply two years previous, stated he has lived in “agony” for many of his life, strolling round for 60 years on a picket limb, held along with leather-based and aluminium.

Nonetheless, final week, Eddie’s life was modified without end, as he acquired a brand new trendy and far more comfy prosthesis — however solely after he reached out to incapacity advocacy group Bodily Impairment Eire, who instructed him he was entitled to a brand new leg.

The Rathcormac native stated that no one appeared to care about him inside the well being service, as over his lifetime of check-ups and restore visits for his picket limb, no one ever made him conscious he was entitled to a extra purposeful and cozy one.

“It makes me indignant, and it makes you’re feeling such as you’re solely a quantity, like they don’t actually care about you,” stated Eddie, reflecting on the truth that he has been “by means of hell and again” strolling on his previous prosthesis for years, considering there was no higher possibility.

Eddie O’Brien, an amputee from Cork who has simply gotten a brand new prosthetic leg from a prosthesis producer in Galway APOS, after he spent 60 years strolling round on an quaint picket leg he’s pictured together with his son Wesley. Picture: Ray Ryan

Eddie stated that for 60 years, he has been utilizing the identical sort of picket prosthetic leg, the most recent of which he acquired about 20 years in the past.

A 3kg strong picket foot, bolted along with aluminium and strapped to his hip with leather-based, Eddie stated the heavy prosthesis typically precipitated him to fall over and left him in “agony”.

“It’s very heavy, and I’ve plenty of bother with the stump on my leg. It will get very, very sore,” he stated.

“I’m by means of agony sporting this previous leg. If I went to Dublin or someplace for an All-Eire match, after I take the leg off, after I come again the stump can be crimson uncooked and sore up by my hip. 

“I could possibly be strolling alongside on a flat floor, and subsequent factor I may fall over nothing, as a result of it’s so heavy it sticks to the bottom, and the older I get, it was getting extra awkward.”

Not one to let being an amputee maintain him again, Eddie has labored all his life.

From biking a motorcycle to climbing ladders, he has by no means let his prosthetic leg hinder him, and stated he would at all times take the perspective of “simply getting on with issues”.

Now residing in Clare, through the years Eddie has acquired physio and different well being helps from each St Finbarr’s Hospital in Cork, and in newer years Merlin Park College Hospital in Galway.

He stated that he was by no means instructed that he was entitled to a brand new prosthesis, in all his visits to each hospitals — even when it acquired to the stage that he must convey his personal screwdriver to appointments as a result of the hospital didn’t have the instruments to restore the old school leg that was now not being made.

The prosthesis was getting an increasing number of tough to maneuver round on as Eddie acquired older, so he and his son Wesley reached out to Bodily Impairment Eire (PII) to see if something could possibly be finished.

Eddie O’Brien, sitting, an amputee from Cork, received a new prosthetic leg from Galway APOS, after spending 60 years walking with an old-fashioned wooden leg. From left, are APOS director Wesley O’Brien, Andy James, Martyn Moran, Peter Gohery, and Physical Imparement Ireland’s Gabe Connelly.	Picture: Ray Ryan
Eddie O’Brien, sitting, an amputee from Cork, acquired a brand new prosthetic leg from Galway APOS, after spending 60 years strolling with an old school picket leg. From left, are APOS director Wesley O’Brien, Andy James, Martyn Moran, Peter Gohery, and Bodily Imparement Eire’s Gabe Connelly. Image: Ray Ryan

PII put the O’Briens in contact with Atlantic Prosthetic Orthotic Companies (APOS) Ltd, an Irish-owned prosthetics supplier primarily based in Galway, who efficiently utilized for HSE funding on behalf of Mr O’Brien, and have now provided him with new, state-of-the-art prosthesis.

Wesley stated it was a bittersweet second to listen to that one thing could possibly be finished, however that his father had needlessly been in ache for years on his previous leg.

“We thought it could be that sort of leg without end and there was nothing that could possibly be finished for him,” he stated.

Wesley stated they wish to share his father Eddie’s story, in case there are others on the market needlessly struggling with old school prosthetics.

“There’s different folks on the market which can be most likely in a worse place,” he stated. 

“This might truly assist someone else, as a result of these individuals are most likely believing that there’s nothing that may be finished.

“We additionally wish to add that we maintain PII and APOS within the highest regard, we owe them a lot.”

Eddie stated he’s delighted together with his new prosthetic leg, which he hopes will take him anyplace he must go.

“I’m very proud of it,” he stated. “The leg was once paining me and sore. Now the brand new leg is completely superb. 

“I’ve been by means of hell and again, and now I’ll be strolling until I’m 100.

“There are caring folks on the market, I came upon.”

Folks struggling 

Bodily Impairment Eire nationwide secretary Leo Kavanagh stated that the best way that Eddie was handled by nationwide hospitals was “a complete affront to every thing that we’re preventing for, for folks with bodily disabilities”.

“You’re employed laborious all of your life, and on the age of 78 you’re dragging a chunk of wooden,” he stated. “Prosthetic limbs at the moment are manufactured from carbon fibre and silicone and issues like that; they’re actually not manufactured from wooden, and haven’t been for numerous years.

“Eddie’s is an distinctive case, however now we have been listening to an excessive amount of of late of individuals being instructed what sort of prosthesis they need to be utilizing by an individual who doesn’t have to make use of that prosthetic limb themselves, and it’s resulting in an terrible lot of heartache and heartbreak.”

Mr Kavanagh stated {that a} lack of prosthetists inside the HSE is resulting in sluggish processing instances for functions for brand spanking new limbs or upgrades, leaving folks ready with none prosthesis, or struggling with one that’s ill-fitted to their wants.

The Saolta Hospital Group, which incorporates Merlin Park College Hospital, stated it can’t touch upon particular person circumstances beneath knowledge safety laws.

“If sufferers or households have considerations or questions in relation to the care, they’ll contact the hospital straight to debate additional,” a spokesperson stated.

“The HSE has a suggestions, remark and complaints course of in place in any respect hospitals … As well as, anybody who makes a criticism and isn’t proud of the end result can ask for an inside evaluate by the HSE or ask for an exterior evaluate from the Ombudsman or the Ombudsman for Youngsters.”

St Finbarr’s Hospital, who final supplied care to Eddie greater than 10 years in the past, was additionally contacted for remark.

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