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Teen who revealed scoliosis pain on Late Late Show has surgery delayed AGAIN

Megan Halvey-Ryan was due to have surgery at Our Ladies in Crumlin next week

Megan with her mother, Sharon, on the Late Late Show
Megan with her mother, Sharon, on the Late Late Show
Image: RTÉ via Youtube

AN “EXTREMELY ILL” Limerick girl who was scheduled to have surgery to help correct a massive double curvature on her spine has had her operation delayed again.

Thirteen-year old Megan Halvey-Ryan’s plight sparked national outrage after she appeared on Late Late Show last month to highlight delays in her surgery.

Despite being on a surgical waiting list for the past 18 months, Megan received word from the HSE a few hours before her Late Late appearance that her operation was booked for next Thursday 9 March.

However, Megan’s mother Sharon confirmed this morning that she received communication from the HSE last Tuesday, informing her that her daughter’s surgery had been cancelled due to a high number of emergency surgeries scheduled at Crumlin Children’s Hospital, Dublin.

Halvey-Ryan told RTÉ’s Ryan Tubridy Show they have now been told Megan’s surgery is rescheduled for March 23.

“We’re devastated,” she said.

Speaking this morning as she and Megan prepared to travel from their home in Limerick to Crumlin for a series of post surgery tests, Halvey-Ryan said her daughter was “extremely ill”.

Outlining her daughter’s present condition, she said: “Megan is not great, she’s very upset. She can’t eat and she is finding it very hard to breath and sleep at night.”

Photos of Megan’s twisted spine were shown with her permission on the Late Late Show in order to raise awareness about scandalous delays on surgical waiting list for scoliosis sufferers.

Source: The Late Late Show/YouTube

“She has an 83 degree thoracic curve which is a curve on the top of her spine, and she has a 65 degree lumbar curve on the base of her spine,” Halvey-Ryan said.

She has extreme high rib rotation and it is now having major effect on her organs – her bowel; her stomach; her lungs.

Packing a travel bag for her daughter at their home in Dooradoyle, Halvey-Ryan said: “I can’t miss this appointment. We have got to go up to Crumlin for this post-op assessment.”

She said Megan’s spinal curve is likely to be far worse than what it was eight months ago – the last time her daughter was assessed for surgery.

“She did the post op assessment eight months ago; it’s a medical assessment which will examine her respiratory system, and her bloods, and she’ll undergo more x-rays on her spine.”

We only found out two days ago that her surgery for the 9 March was cancelled. We understand emergencies happening at the hospital, but if my daughter’s scoliosis is not an emergency I don’t know what is – in my opinion she is extremely ill.

“Scoliosis is considered an elective surgery so whenever there are a lot of emergency surgeries to be performed at the hospital the scoliosis patients get bumped down the list. It happens all the time.”

Halvey Ryan added: “This has happened to us before. That’s why I said (on the Late Late) that I was sceptical about Megan’s surgery going ahead on the 9 March.”

“I’ll only believe it when she is actually on the operating table in the surgical theatre.”

Fianna Fáil TD, Niall Collins said he will be raising the matter in the Dail today.

“It’s shocking. This family has been let down and failed again by the HSE,” Collins said.

I’ll be calling on the Minister for Health today in the Dáil to confirm that the new date for surgery will be honoured.

Read: We used to screen for scoliosis in schools, so why was it stopped?

Read: ‘Her spine has a 97 degree curve but she doesn’t know what’s wrong and can’t describe her pain’

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David Raleigh

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