JAMES Murphy is 12 years old, 6ft 3inches in height, weighs 22 stone, and he has tried to stab his mother.
James has a list of disabilities which his mother, Theresa, is battling to get services for, and she is so desperate that she plans to complain the Irish Government to the United Nations for breach of her son’s human rights.
“He’s huge and he can turn violent. I’m 5 foot tall – he can pick me up and throw me around and he hasn’t finished growing,” Theresa, from Castleconnell, told the Limerick Post.
Theresa says James is intelligent, loving and aware but can be overcome with fits of rage because of his disability.
“He’s in constant pain with his back. He’s been diagnosed with Scoliosis. He doesn’t fit in the bath or shower so I have to wash him in his bed.
“The one place he gets some relief is in the swimming pool and I get him there as often as I can so he can swim and I can shower him. If he doesn’t get showered, he develops sores which smell of actual rot. He has scars from them.
“James was in school in the Inagh Autism unit in County Clare up till 2020 but they tried to expel him so I removed him. He was very challenging. They called him a health and safety risk. He was out of school at home in his bedroom for a year and a half before he got into St Anne’s special needs school in Ennis.
“He was very violent and aggressive and regularly took a knife to me and hit and beat me ,” Theresa explained.
James has mobility loss can’t bend down and he finds walking incredibly hard because of his height and weight.
All these symptoms could be improved with more physiotherapy, Margaret says, but James has had one physio appointment and was sent away with a list of exercises which were hugely painful and didn’t help his problems.
Medication is taking its toll on James and he is now on the strongest meds he can be given.
“This child has been fed serious anti-psychotics and medication to keep him calm. It’s killing him. His liver is showing damage already. What he needs is extra respite and lots of psychology support.”
James has been diagnosed with autism, overgrowth syndrome and a string of other difficulties but Theresa maintains that it is in his best interests to live at home with her.
Theresa now lives in Kilshanny in North Clare and, with two older sons with special needs, she has to cope with James alone.
She has two hours of respite twice a week and one weekend a month and was approved for more months ago, but it has not materialised.
Theresa’s greatest fear is that she will be seriously injured or worse by her son and that he will be taken into full time care against his and her will.
“That would be hugely traumatic for him which is why I want services put in place now, while he’s calm,” she said.
When she heard that the Minister for Disabilities Roderick O’Gormon was paying a private visit to Clare two weeks ago Theresa approached him with a letter outlining James’ condition and needs.
“I looked at the UN’s charter of human rights. If James does not get the services he needs, I believe the Irish Government is in breach of his human rights and that’s a complaint I will be making to the UN,” she added.