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11th Feb 2015

‘I Hung Up The Phone And I Burst Into Tears’ – Mother Reveals Her Anguish After HSE Again Refuses Medical Card

The O'Connor family have been refused for a second time.

The mother of a nine-year-old cancer patient has told of her anguish after the Health Service Executive turned down her appeal for a discretionary medical card.

The devastating predicament facing Angela O’Connor and her daughter Lucy was revealed last month, when the worried mother was initially turned down for medical cover for the cancer treatment.

“I haven’t worked since September 2014, as she needs round the clock care and is unable to be left alone in hospital. This is a life-threatening illness. It is cancer, she has already faced surgery and yet here we are refused a medical card, refused anything really, there is nothing available if you are working and paying tax!”

The HSE’s actions sparked a major backlash, with people showing their support for the O’Connor’s case on Twitter with the #ISupportLucy.

Ms O’Connor had been hopeful that by appealing the decision, the health authority may do a u-turn on their refusal but received word yesterday that her application had been turned down for a second time.

“It’s very difficult, I’m watching my daughter and all I want for her is to be back in school and not to be out there trying to fight for what I thought she would be entitled to. I hung up the phone to the HSE yesterday and I burst into tears because I don’t know even know if it’s frustration, humiliation,” she told Newstalk‘s Jonathan Healy.

“You just feel like, somebody is sitting in an office deciding that my daughter shouldn’t get anything. I’m not looking for anything else for anyone else in the family, it’s just Lucy and it’s just for the duration of her treatment.”