Storm Emma fallout forces Longford man to wait three days for dialysis treatment

Aisling Kiernan


Aisling Kiernan


Tullamore Hospital

The wife of a Longford town man has spoken of their ordeal in trying to ensure her husband was able to secure vital dialysis treatment at Midlands Regional Hospital, Tullamore during Storm Emma

While the adverse weather is now well abated, one Longford town family struggled to get the man of the house to his dialysis appointments at the Midland Regional Hospital in Tullamore last week.

Elaine Heslin and her husband reside on the outskirts of Longford town and Elaine’s husband attends for dialysis treatment three days a week - Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

And, while he received his treatment last Tuesday, it was Saturday before the family managed to secure transport to take the ill man to hospital.

That transport was provided by a family member in the form of a jeep which thankfully was able to plough through snow drifts and heavily snowed roads to get to the hospital in Tullamore.

Elaine said she had received assurance that her husband would be transported to Tullamore hospital despite the bad weather.

This didn’t happen.

Elaine and her husband rose early last Thursday morning and were ready at 7am for collection, but no transport came.

“The taxi firm that usually collects my husband to take him for the dialysis contacted him and said while it would not be in a position to take him for treatment, the civil defence would,” she added, before pointing out that when no transport arrived the couple rang the hospital to make further inquiries and they were told to sit tight, somebody would come for Mr Heslin.

“We were watching the news at 1pm and Ciarán Mullooly said that Civil Defence, in Longford, had been stood down because members didn’t have the appropriate training for the current situation.”

Elaine’s husband ended up with no dialysis that day and neither could he be allocated a place on Friday.

“The hospital did everything they could, but we are dependent on transport,” Elaine continued, before pointing out that she eventually got her husband to treatment on Saturday thanks to a family member who arrived at the house in a jeep.

“The irony of it was that when we were at the hospital on Saturday there were lots of army and civil defence personnel there having transported people to their appointments.

“My husband is diabetic as well and to tell you the truth he is not feeling the best at the moment; hopefully he will be okay and can avail of his usual treatment this week.

Elaine also indicated that blood test results from the weekend taken at the hospital indicated that her husband’s health had deteriorated somewhat.

“I have to say that we would have been lost here without our neighbours; they kept a close eye on us and everyone was so good to us,” she added.


VIDEO: Brace yourselves: winds build in north Longford as Storm Emma makes landfall