Father fears for his son’s future

By Maurice Garvey

A FATHER fears his son has become “institutionalised” after spending nearly two years in hospital following a serious head injury.

Clondalkin resident Ronnie Spadaccini is fighting to have his son Paul De Ferriera transferred from the National Rehabilitation Hospital (NRH) in Dun Laoghaire, to an Acquired Brain Injury Ireland (ABII) facility in Lucan.

facebook Linked Image Paul De Ferriera 2final

Paul De Ferriera needs to move to ABII

Paul (36), a married father of two, suffered a horrific head injury during a quad bike accident on Neilstown Road in October 2016.

After spending time in Beaumont Hospital, Tallaght Hospital and in the NRH since last November, Ronnie says Paul has made a miraculous improvement, but is being prevented from moving to the ABII centre by the HSE.

“Basically, Paul is holding up a bed in the NRH with 200 people on the waiting list to get in there, and the HSE are not bothered,” said Ronnie.

“The ABII have accepted Paul and it would help his introduction back into the community. I believe the NRH has been on to the HSE about Paul moving on, but we’re waiting on funding to be released.

"We were waiting nearly a year to get rehab, but if Paul goes back to Tallaght, there was no point in him going to Dun Laoghaire.”

In March 2017, The Echo met Ronnie and Paul in Tallaght Hospital, when the family were trying to get permission for a private Occupational Therapist.

Shocking

The extent of Paul’s head injury was shocking to the eye, but a subsequent operation in Beaumont with titanium plates has transformed his physical appearance to that of the man before the accident.

Ronnie continued: “Since the operation it has been a vast improvement. We can have conversations, he has expression, laughter, his sense of humour is back. He is still getting there. I can never see him being the same, but if we can get him back to 80 per cent.

“He comes home on Sundays, walks from his house to ours, which is close by. You have to let him do his own thing.

"I always pushed him in hospital to shave himself, same thing with incontinence. We fixed that, and he is doing tasks in Dun Laoghaire like gardening, and painting fences.”

Ultimately, the goal is to get Paul back home to his wife and two kids, and working again as a mechanic.

“He recently spent two days in Churchill Autos in Ballyfermot, changing brake pads and doing diagnostics. The other day when he was at home, he fixed his sister’s headlamp.

“He says to me it is tough being over there. But until funding is released, I can’t take him out even though 200 other families are waiting for a place. If I take him home, that’s the end of it.

“He’s worked all his life and paid taxes. It’s not right. Someone from the family is with him every day. I can’t imagine how hard it is for his wife Lisa and the kids. He’s a young man.”

The Echo contacted the HSE in relation to funding for ABII services, but did not receive a reply at the time of going to print.

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