Grandmother waiting three years for new hip has to crawl up her stairs

Maureen Judge. Photos: Seamus Farrelly

An ailing grandmother who has been waiting for a hip replacement for over three years says she now has to crawl up the stairs in agony in her home.

Maureen Judge (65) from Trim says she had to wait over two years on a waiting list to get an initial appointment with an orthopaedic consultant, which took place in March 2018.

After a second meeting with a different consultant at Our Lady's Hospital in Navan last December, she is still waiting for a date to be set for her operation.

In the meantime, she describes her life as a 'living hell' and is no longer able to shop, clean her house or even sleep because of the constant agony.

"This is my fourth year living with the pain and hospital xrays showed I need a new hip years ago," she said.

"I'm at the stage where I have trouble putting on my socks and even washing my hair is torture.

I rarely go upstairs anymore as I have to crawl up the stairs and I have to sleep on the couch to get some relief. Even at that, I wake up three or four times with the pain.

"I use a zimmer frame and walking stick and have to hold onto chairs, doors and the walls to get around my house.

"I used to be able to do the weekly shopping but that was only because I could lie over the trolley. I'm unable even to do that anymore.

"At this stage, I'm convinced that when I go for the operation, they'll discover I've even more damage because I can hear and feel the bones in my leg crunch when I move."

"My life is like hell on earth and that's no exaggeration. I can do nothing anymore only read."

Due to health complications, she can only take parecetemol for the pain.

"After waiting for a year, I finally met one consultant in Navan in March 2018 who led me to believe my operation would take place in May but I never heard anything and when I finally rang to query it, I was told that consultant had moved on and I would have to see another, who I met last December.

"Again, I was led to believe I would have the operation in January but I'm still waiting for a date.

"I don't remember what it's like to walk properly, but if I got a new hip I'd walk for Ireland.

"My grandson is making his First Communion in May and keeps telling me his one wish on that day is for me to have my new hip!"

The HSE have promised to look into Maureen's file but says it can't comment on any individual case.

They say there are currently 105 patients on the waiting list for a hip replacement at Our Lady's Hospital in Navan, four of which have been waiting over nine months for surgery.

They add: "There are currently 3,510 people in total on the out patient waiting lists in Navan, which are not specific for hip or knee patients.

"Our Lady's Hospital have recently received approval to introduce a waiting list initiative to significantly reduce this list from April."

Describing the situation as 'incredible,' leader of Aontu Peadar Toibin said:

I can't believe that a woman of 65 years has been left needlessly in such a level of disability.

"In over ten years of representation, I have not seen a citizen in such immobility for want fo a simple operation.

"3,510 other people are out there on the out patient waiting lists in Navan waiting for various procedures on conditions which affect their day-to-day lives.

"Some will need more invasive and more expensive treatment as a result of their long wait. The government are not saving money leaving people in long-term agony. There needs to be front end investment in order to clear these lists now."

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