A woman with a rare brittle bone condition, and who has been languishing in agony on a ‘luxury’ hospital trolley for over a week, has pleaded directly to the Minister for Health for help.

Mother of two, Kelly Magee-Di Pierro, 33, from Cork, who has osteopetrosis, or marble bone syndrome, spoke out last night as she faced into a ninth day on the trolley in Cork University Hospital’s clinical decision unit (CDU).

“This is not right. This is not appropriate patient care,” she told the Irish Examiner.

Ms Magee-Di Pierro’s rare genetic condition, which makes her extremely prone to spontaneous bone breaks and fractures, has been in hospital countless times over the years, and said she has always been quickly referred to an orthopaedic ward.

She told the Opinion Line on Cork’s 96fm that she presented at CUH’s emergency department last Wednesday complaining of severe back pain and was admitted to the hospital’s CDU. She has been there since.

A CUH spokesperson said while most people are moved from the CDU within 48-hours, Ms Magee-Di Pierro was still undergoing tests and scans to determine her “care pathway”. The spokesperson could not say when a decision on her transfer from the CDU may be made.

Ms Magee-Di Pierro said she believes she has suffered invisible occult fractures in her lower lumbar area which will not show up on X-rays or scans for several days, and should be in an orthopaedic bed, under the care of an orthopaedic specialist: “This is nothing new for me. It’s not rocket science. I can’t fault the staff. The doctors and nurses here are the unsung heroes. But something is different this time,” she said.

She said the CDU’s ‘luxury trolley’ doesn’t have a mechanical adjustment facility, or a call bell, and that her spinal injury means she can’t sit up without risking another bone injury. She has gone hungry on occasions because she can’t sit up to feed herself.


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