1,000 Days Outside the Taoiseach’s Office‘It started an unstoppable movement’

As heard on The Ray D'Arcy Show

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When your 7 year-old daughter is diagnosed with leukaemia, you want to focus on her care and not be bothered by trying to work out how to fund that care.

Five years ago, Kevin and Tracey Shortall were given the awful news that their daughter Louise had leukaemia. They then found that the trauma of the diagnosis was added to by how difficult it was dealing with the bureaucracy of the Health Service Executive.

Kevin and Tracey told Ray D’Arcy how they went through the disheartening – and ultimately unsuccessful – process of trying to get a medical card from the HSE for their very sick child. The process dragged on for nineteen months and left Kevin and Tracey exhausted and frustrated.

“The medical card is a gateway to allow you to access those things that aren’t available anywhere else in the private sector or otherwise.”

When another parent of a sick child told him that he would never be able to change the medical card process, Kevin remembers saying to himself, “yes, I will”. And when Louise’s uncle Peter wrote to Kevin and Tracey outlining his vision for how they might go about changing the law to allow all seriously ill children to qualify for a medical card, Kevin started his campaign in earnest.

It took a thousand days of standing outside the Taoiseach’s office, but it eventually led to a successful amendment to legislation.

Kevin and Tracey told their story on the Ray D’Arcy Show. You can listen to it in full by clicking here.


© The Listener 2017

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