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Terminally ill mother-of-three only got hospital bed after radio interview

NewsBy Sunday World
Ausra Matharu with her family (Pic: Independent.ie)
Ausra Matharu with her family (Pic: Independent.ie)

A mother-of-three with terminal cancer admitted she was left heartbroken by having to spend three days in a Galway hotel while awaiting a hospital bed for life-prolonging treatment.

Ausra Matharu (32) from Mogeely, Cork, claimed she only received a hospital bed when, out of frustration, she rang a Cork radio station in tears to highlight her plight.

Ausra has terminal bone marrow cancer.

Her prognosis is five to seven years provided she gets the correct, life-prolonging treatment.

The Lithuanian national and her husband are self-employed and had to close their business to travel to Galway for the scheduled appointment.

Both were deeply upset at the delay in Ausra receiving treatment in Galway. Ausra was so frustrated by the continued delay she rang RedFM.

"It is not like a human being: 'Oh, I am so sorry' or 'You must be very angry'. It is just 'we have no beds.' That is it. 'There is nothing more we can do.' You can explain as much as you want that there was a bed booked," she said.

"Nothing is organised. You feel like you are just a number. I am just heartbroken.

"I want to see my kids graduate. I want to see my kids make their Holy Communion. I feel like I have wasted three whole days of my life.

"I would rather have spent it with the kids. Every minute is important to me. Everything I am going through I am doing for my kids," she said.

Ausra claimed she was informed that if she presented herself to the emergency department she could wait for a bed like any other patient.

The young mother was astonished but overjoyed when, a short time after she told her story live on radio, she was contacted by the Health Service Executive (HSE) to say a bed would be available.

A HSE statement on the matter is now expected.

Ausra travelled to Galway because the life-prolonging treatment she requires is currently not available at Cork University Hospital (CUH).

"This is one of the most important things for me. To get my (stem cell) transplant. My life depends on this," she said.

Olivia Kelleher/Ralph Riegel

Via Irish Independent