'We just want to bring her home'

Thursday, 24th January, 2019 3:32pm

'We just want to bring her home'

Joanne O’Connor with her grand-daughter, Shianna.

A Tullamore man whose 49-year-old wife has spent almost 18 months in hospital after suffering an aneurysm says that her family want her home and will resist attempts by the HSE to transfer her to a nursing home.

On August 17, 2017, mother-of-three Joanne O'Connor from Chancery Close in Tullamore was rushed to Beaumont Hospital in Dublin for an emergency operation after suffering an aneurysm and a stroke.

The operation saved Joanne's life, but the aneurysm and stroke left her paralysed down her right side. Her speech has also been affected.

A little over a year ago she was transferred from Beaumont to the Midland Regional Hospital, Tullamore, where she has spent every day since.

Speaking to Offaly Independent this week, her husband Tommy claimed that although their home has been specially adapted for his wife's return, decision makers in the HSE have refused to provide home support for her as they claim she will require round the clock care, which they say will cost around €1m a year.

Although he acknowledges that his family will need some outside help if Joanne comes home, Tommy disputes the figure and says that he and his three children, Leanne (28), Declan (23) and Daniel (13) want to care for the woman that he describes as "my world".

"Joanne wants to come home. She can communicate, she understands everything. She doesn't want to go to a nursing home. She is quite capable of making her own decisions. We bring her walks through the hospital.

"Joanne is able to brush her teeth. Her major problem is incontinence and they are saying that it will cost a million euros a year for home help to come into my home.

"Medically she is 100%, psychologically she is 100%, mentailly she is fine. All we want to do is take her home. The house is ready everything is ready. I have done everything the HSE has wanted me to do. I have got my home ready. "

Joanne's aneurysm was the second traumatic event to hit the O'Connor family in a short period. Three weeks before she fell ill, her grand-daughter Destiny passed away.

Joanne's daughter Leeanne gave birth to Destiny and her twin sister Shianna 15 weeks early in March 2017. While Shianna survived, tragically little Destiny passed away at the age of four months.

Tommy says this week that after suffering so many blows and spending so much time in hospitals in recent years, his family just want to get Joanne back home.

Continued on page 10

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