A paraplegic landmine victim who has been lying on a hospital trolley since Tuesday said he is now at risk of developing pressure sores from his hospital stay.

Marco Sabatini Corleone, 58, spoke about his concerns last night as he faces into a fourth night on the trolley tonight in a therapy room off the Mercy University Hospital’s (MUH) emergency department in Cork City.

“I am tired and not sleeping because of the noise of the emergency department,” Marco told the Irish Examiner. “I’m just fed up waiting for a bed. I have plates in my back as a result of my spinal injuries, and I’m supposed to lie on an air mattress. I’m not supposed to be on a hospital trolley for this long. The staff here are wonderful. They are trying their best. But it’s just with all the cutbacks, they are short of beds. I’m now at risk of developing pressure sores. And if I get breakdowns, it can take a long time to heal.”

Marco, who lives in West Cork, was paralysed from the waist down in 1994 after the vehicle in which he was travelling struck a landmine in Bosnia after the war, killing the driver. He suffers from a range of other health complications linked to his paralysis.

He told the Opinion Line on Cork’s 96Fm that he arrived at MUH’s emergency department by ambulance on Tuesday suffering from a leg infection. He was assessed and placed on a trolley in a corridor, before being moved to a nearby therapy room. He has been on the trolley since. He has no access to a call bell and can’t move without assistance.

Speaking to the Irish Examiner, he said: “The health minister, Simon Harris, needs to wake up and come round and visit hospital emergency departments, to see what the real world is like. He needs to meet patients and ask them what it’s like to be in an ED for a long period of time. You wouldn’t see a TD on a trolley for a few hours, let alone a few days.”

It is the second time this week a patient on a trolley in a Cork hospital has spoken out. Kelly Magee-Di Pierro, on a ‘luxury’ trolley in CUH’s clinical decision unit since last week, was still waiting for a bed yesterday.


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