Sepsis victim left to languish in nursing home because she can’t climb stairs

Teresa Long (65) with her daughter, Shirley Ryan.

A LIMERICK woman who has lost most of the use of her legs after an attack of sepsis has been relegated to a nursing home because she can’t climb the stairs to her council flat.

Teresa Long (65) spent four weeks in University Hospital Limerick  (UHL) with sepsis. But while she has recovered enough to be discharged, she now needs to use a wheelchair most of the time.

Her daughter, Shirley Ryan told the Limerick Post that there is no need for her mother to be in a nursing home, where she has been left for the past three weeks.

“She can manage quite well at home with help from me and meals on wheels. She wants to be at home but there is no way now that she can manage climbing stairs to the third floor, and there is no lift”.

Even before she became ill, Teresa, who had breast cancer, found it impossible to get up and down the stairs at her apartment on Lower Gerald Griffin Street.

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“I had to get help from people like the Red Cross because it takes two people to manage her. They were fantastic but they are volunteers and there wasn’t always someone available so she missed a lot of important hospital appointments,” said Shirley.

Shirley and her mother have been asking the Council to get her ground floor accommodation “for a long time now”, she says.

“I even went to the fire officer and he said the Council needs a plan because there is no way she could get out of that apartment if there was a fire.”

The local authority have also received letters from physicians confirming that Teresa’s medical condition means she needs ground floor accommodation.

In letters sent to the mother and daughter, the Council said Teresa’s housing needs are being considered “along with many others on the council’s housing list”.

“Meanwhile, my mother is taking up a space in a nursing home that she is far too young to be in, that is being paid for by the system, and she is still paying rent on her two-bed apartment that is lying idle. It’s an unbelievable waste of money and resources,” Teresa hit back.

Limerick City and County Council declined to comment on the matter, telling the Limerick Post that it does not comment on individual cases.