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Phenomenal response Mum hails teen son after radio campaign for better Wi-Fi in hospital

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James Casserly (15) and his mum Vicki

James Casserly (15) and his mum Vicki

James Casserly (15) and his mum Vicki

The mother of a teenage patient at Crumlin children’s hospital has hailed the response to his plea for better Wi-Fi so he could do his homework.

James Casserly (15) told yesterday's Lunchtime Live on Newstalk how the Wi-Fi quality in several rooms and wards was not strong enough to allow him to do his school work remotely.

However, his mum Vicki told the show today there had been a “phenomenal response” the appeal.

“Somebody contacted us from Three Ireland. Under their SIMs for schools initiative, they’re going to make contact with Crumlin hospital to provide SIMs for children on the wards, with unlimited data. They’re active until the end of the school term.

“It’s an absolutely phenomenal result. It’s short-term, but they’re filling the gap.

“It’s an amazing solution for all the kids that are in there, not just for himself, but he's still not letting go and is looking for Norma Foley to invest heavier in this, and you know he’s right, it absolutely needs to be done.”

Vicki revealed how James has had three major surgeries since December 8 so he is a “frequent flyer” to the hospital.

“He wanted his voice heard, not just for him, for the other kids that he's got to know in there as well and he has done incredibly well.

“It takes a lot of confidence and courage to do that when you’re not in the best of health. To go through what he's going through and still achieve that is brilliant, not just for himself but for the others in the hospital as well.

“I am his mom but I just think when I was 15, and I didn't have the health issues he has, I would struggle to just walk into a room because I was that shy. But he was able to go on national radio and articulate clearly enough his point so that people understood where he was coming from and why he wanted it and the different dynamics of it. I’m very proud.”

Vicki also said they were both very grateful to a listener named Chay who is providing James with a smartphone with data to allow him to do his school work when he's in hospital.

She added: "Another lovely company - Eduflix Ireland, which produces Junior Cert animate videos… made contact with us. They're [offering] audio-visual grinds."

Vicki told Lunchtime Live: "For the past nine and a half weeks we’ve been in and out” with James who has cerebral palsy.

“He had to have both his femurs broken and reset, and then he had a few setbacks and other illnesses.

“He has to relearn to walk, and has had a very challenging few weeks managing pain and energy levels. He’s a good kid and he keeps positive."

Yesterday, Crumlin children's hospital encouraged any inpatients and their families who have difficulty in connecting to the inpatient Wi-Fi, or have remote educational needs, “to let their Ward Manager know and every effort will be made by the hospital to facilitate their needs”.

The hospital said an audit of its Wi-Fi locations aims to improve the situation where there is a weak or poor Wi-Fi signal.

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