‘Government failing the people of Northern Ireland’

Kerri Ann Flanagan.
Kerri Ann Flanagan.

The mother of an ill woman from Newtownabbey has slammed the political stalemate in the province, as waiting lists to see a consultant continue to grow.

Kerri Ann Flanagan (24) was recently diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, but was told she will have to wait for up to two years before getting an appointment with a neurologist.

The former Hazelwood Integrated College student, who lives in Merville Garden Village, has completely lost the sight in her left eye after contracting optic neuritis in May, according to her mother.

Mum Kim McAteer, who contacted the Times to highlight the issue, said: “There has been an urgent referral for Kerri Ann to see a neurologist. We have been told this will take one to two years.

“Meanwhile, my daughter must suffer on without treatment, possibly causing further irreparable damage.

“My daughter cannot wait one to two years for treatment. I was advised to go private. A private appointment with a neurologist is a three-month wait. Although we can afford the consultation, we could not afford treatment privately.

“It’s difficult enough to deal with the diagnosis of MS without having to go without a neurologist or treatment.”

Kim added: “Our government is in disarray and failing the people who voted them into power. My daughter is trying very hard to be positive, but it’s difficult enough to come to terms with a diagnosis of MS and our fears for the future, without having to wait so long for a treatment plan.

“Kerri Ann struggles every day to overcome various symptoms but she will not give up.”