A TEENAGE schoolboy who collapsed due to a bleed in his brain three times in the past six weeks is fighting to stay in a hospital bed while he awaits surgery.
Sligo General Hospital wants David Murtagh to stay at home nearby so his bed is readily available for a more urgent case.
Doctors at Sligo general and at Dublin’s Beaumont Hospital – where he is due to undergo the surgery – say David (16) can stay at home on standby medicine until his operation.
While he was last at home and on the special tablets, he collapsed again, falling unconscious for eight minutes, and he was rushed back to the Sligo hospital. Now both he and his mother, May Murtagh, have been fighting to retain his hospital bed for 12 days until he is transferred to Dublin.
David has refused to go home.
The Leaving Cert student was serving a customer during his summer job in a Sligo town shop when he collapsed on July 19th. His mother said he waited four hours in hospital for treatment before he was sent home and told he could return to work.
Then, on July 29th, he again collapsed at 2.15am and fell out of his bed. Ms Murtagh said: “It was coming into a bank holiday weekend and while he was taken to Sligo general, he wasn’t seen until the Tuesday by a consultant.
“There was a brain scan and doctors said David would have to go to Beaumont for surgery as soon as a bed became available.
“David was diagnosed with cavernoma. It was a small brain haemorrhage. He had blood on the brain. It was like a small bunch of cherries that would cause a collapse.”
On August 18th, while in a restaurant in Rosses Point, David collapsed again and remained unconscious for eight minutes.
Ms Murtagh said: “Luckily, there was an American paramedic from New York also in the restaurant and he took charge while we waited for an ambulance.”
That was when David and his mother decided he must remain in hospital close to medical care until he underwent surgery.
Within days, however, medical staff at Sligo wanted him to go home to await transfer to Beaumont. Last week the hospital asked if David would give his bed up in case they needed it and he refused. He was provisionally told he would be travelling to Beaumont today.
Beaumont Hospital said David was scheduled for admission today for an appointment for procedure.
Without any direct reference to Sligo hospital’s efforts to persuade David to go home, a HSE statement said: “In line with best practice, all patients at Sligo General Hospital have a full multidisciplinary clinical assessment prior to their discharge and this then determines their suitability for discharge. Patients’ conditions are reviewed on an ongoing daily basis.”