Joy for couple as they resolve issue with HSE over relocation of disabled daughter from Dawn House

By amy lewis

Published 10/11/2015 | 00:00

Last week's Wexford People front page story.
Last week's Wexford People front page story.

A couple who spent over 13 months fighting the HSE decision to relocate their disabled daughter from Dawn House have said that they are 'very happy' that a compromise that has been made.

Since last September, Ferrybank residents Noel and Kathleen DeHora had been battling to keep their 44-year-old daughter as a day patient at the respite centre after they were told that she would be located to Millbrook in Enniscorthy. At a meeting with HSE representatives last week, they finally reached a compromise.

'Everything has been resolved,' said Noel. 'We made a compromise on both sides. Instead of Leah having to leave the house at 9 a.m. on their bus to Millbrook, we will drop her there at 11 a.m. The compromise is that they will drop her back to Rivendale in Wexford for 6 p.m. where she will have her tea.'

Prior to this meeting, the plan was for Leah to return home from Enniscorthy at 4 p.m. Kathleen had expressed concern with this as it would require agency nurses to visit their home in the evenings.

Commenting early last week she said: 'I would be fearful of allowing somebody into my home in the evenings. Agency nurses move around to different homes and it can take the nurses nine months to get used to a service user.'

She also reiterated the concerns of Leah's neurologist, who said that as a severe epileptic, a sudden move after 24 years at Dawn House could be detrimental to Leah's health.

Following the latest meeting, Kathleen said that she is 'very satisfied' with the decision, which will see Leah attend Millbrook for one day a week and Dawn House for the remaining days. This will continue until January, when Leah will begin to attend Millbrook for five days.

'We got a good offer,' said Kathleen. 'We were told that all of the kids will need to be moved from Dawn House in January anyway as refurbishment works take place.'

The couple were also informed that Leah will be provided with a residential bed in one of Wexford town's several care facilities by September 2016. Having first applied for a bed in 2003, they expressed their joy at this additional news.

However, Kathleen said that she hopes nobody else ever has to go through what they experienced.

'I'm pleading with the HSE never to put anyone through it again,' she said.

Noel and Kathleen received widespread support last week when they decided to arrive at Dawn House with Leah on the day she was due to be relocated. Over 15 friends and family members joined them, including Cllr Anthony Kelly who is a former neighbour.

'Anthony has been a trojan,' said Kathleen. 'Once he came on board, he never left our side. He told us that he never witnessed anything like we have endured.'

According to Kathleen, this level of support has been echoed across the board.

'People have been unbelievable. They've been sending me gorgeous messages and I've even received phone calls from Australia and New York,' she said. 'I now know who has a heart. They're the most important people in my life and they'll help me to heal.'

Wexford People

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