'It's life or death': Man pleads for residential care for brother with special needs

'It's life or death': Man pleads for residential care for brother with special needs
Conor and Colin Grassick with their late mother, Ann.

A man who is a full-time carer for his younger brother has made an emotional appeal for a place in residential care for his sibling.

Colin Grassick, 22, has Prader Willi Syndrome and autism.

Prader Willi Syndrome is a genetic disorder that causes the affected person to become constantly hungry, which often leads to obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Conor, 26, has been his brother's sole carer since their mother, Ann, passed away last year.

Conor said the HSE promised a place for Colin in residential care after Ann passed away from cancer but this has yet to happen due to funding issues.

"It's turned out that we need a plan and come up with a figure of €240,000 plus what Colin is getting," Conor told RTÉ Radio 1's Liveline.

"We were promised and told that it would be up by January 2019 and I'm stuck still with Colin at home. The problem is funding.

"We were promised all year [that Colin would get a place in residential care in] January, then I was promised April, then I was promised June and last Friday I received an email that it was funding that's the problem and that the funding that Colin has isn't enough. We need more money now."

Colin has gained seven stone since Ann died, is self-harming due to anxiety, and wants to go into residential care as he feels he needs care and routine.

"The care at the moment is not ideal. It's not working, The carers aren't equipped for Colin's special needs.

"I wake up every night and Colin is begging me for answers and asking me 'when is my home ready? I want to leave.' It's the only thing he's focusing on in his head.

"His behaviour has deteriorated, his health has deteriorated and nobody is there to help. When is someone going to help with this situation? We're in a situation where it's life or death."

Conor said is at his wit's end and feels he can't go on like this for much longer.

We're now left at the stage that I'm going to come home one evening and I'm afraid that Colin could be dead.

"I'm running off about two hours of sleep last night. Colin's self-harming himself, trying to bite his hand. I'm trying to restrain him. We've no help.

"He's actually on his way into the Mater Hospital at the moment because of how bad his legs are [after he picked at the skin]. His legs are septic.

"No one is putting their hand up and trying to help. I'm afraid that we're going to end up losing Colin."

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