The mother of a four-year-old child battling cerebral pasly has spoken of her heartbreak at possibly having to see her son placed in full time care because of government cutbacks.
Yesterday (Tuesday) was supposed to be a day filled with joy and excitement for the Hall family as Aine and Brian Hall celebrated their son’s, Liam’s birthday at their home in Rooskey.
Instead it was an occasion soured by uncertainty and apprehension after it emerged HSE chiefs had given no assurances as to Liam’s future home respite assistance requirements.
Until now, the family have managed to get by with 10 hours a week in State sponsored home help and a further 12 hours coming via children’s charity, The Jack and Jill Foundation which helps children up to four years of age.
But it is the expected cut in respite help from Jack and Jill, due to the fact the Liam has reached his fourth birthday, and the apparent reluctance of HSE officials to replace those hours which has forced the Hall’s to go public with their campaign.
“We don’t know what else to do,” said Liam’s dejected mother, Aine Hall on Monday evening. “It’s not in our nature to do this and speak to the media but what other option do we have?”
The mother of three said letters dated as far back as last September were sent to the HSE warning them of the expected withdrawal in Jack and Jill home care assistance.
Twelve months on, and despite Jack and Jill senior personnel vowing to stand by the Halls, the family claim they have yet to receive any written response from the HSE.
“The Jack and Jill Foundation have been great, but we have tried and tried and nothing has come back (from the HSE),” she said.
The family’s appeal comes just days after Minister for Health James Reilly announced a raft of cuts in the health service including in home care.
As well as suffering from cerebral palsy, Liam is also visually impaired, is tube fed and wakes up at least three times each night.
“Liam needs 24 hour care, that’s 168 hours a week,” added Aine ruefully as she made a heartfelt plea to Health Minister, Dr James Reilly.
“We don’t want him to go anywhere. All we are looking for is help and support. He’s our little boy, this is where he belongs. Is that too much to ask?”