A MUM fears she will die before NHS chiefs get round to fixing a machine that keeps her alive – and hasn’t worked for nine months.
Hannah Trickett suffers from Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension, a rare and incurable condition which creates excess fluid in her brain which can only be removed using special equipment.
The 32-year-old from Rosyth, Fife, is furious that the machine has not worked properly since February – and that she faces at least a further five month wait.
As a result, she has been suffering excruciating pain and has needed to take morphine to cope.
According to Hannah, no-one in NHS Fife is able to get the equipment working again and she is waiting for an appointment with a specialist in Glasgow.
Despite the 90-day limit on waiting for treatment she has been been waiting over 250 days for the an appointment to come up.
And has now been told she could be waiting another 20 weeks just to be seen by a specialist.
Hannah is so angry with her treatment, she and her family protested today (Thu) outside the Scottish Parliament.
The LP shunt machine which according to Hannah “works like an internal catheter” removes excess fluid from her brain and her spinal cord.
She explained what is currently wrong with her life saving machine.
She said: “The shunt is sticking out of my stomach and had to go and see a specialist in February but it’s still leaking just now.
“The shunt’s been moved and I believe the fluid coming from it is now causing cysts in my stomach and I’m in constant pain.”
She said: “I’m at my wit’s end, my quality of life has been seriously affected. To the Scottish Government, I just don’t matter.
“Since February, there’s been increased damage to my eyes and my general mental health has suffered. I co-run a business and have a young daughter and I just don’t have as much get up and go as I used to.
“There are no services in my area that can treat me. I have to rely on other districts which is a mammoth task as they’re obviously struggling for funding as well.”
Hannah explained that she’s had 162 lumbar punctures, three brain operations -of which she’s been awake – and four major surgeries in eight years.
She added: “I want to know if they would be happy with waiting for as long as I have to be seen to.
“I just don’t care to them, I’m just a statistic to them which they need to improve on.
“I want them to stop the clock, stop the nonsense. We need to be seen to be timely and to ask someone to wait 19 months when their in so much pain is ridiculous.”
A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “Clinical priority patients should be seen without delay and we are concerned this does not appear to be the case with this patient.
“Therefore, we are happy to investigate on her behalf if she is content for us to do so.
“The Scottish Government launched a Waiting Times Improvement Plan on Tuesday that is supported by £235 million in frontline spending and around £120 million in capital.
“This is in addition to the ongoing £200 million elective and diagnostic treatment centres programme over the next two-and-a-half years and the £300 million committed to performance.”
A spokesman for NHS Fife said: “Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension is a very rare condition and requires highly specialist treatment not currently available in Fife.
“This expertise is instead provided at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow.
“For reasons of confidentiality, we are unable to comment on the treatment of individual patients.”