The mother of an eight year old girl claims her daughter is confined to a wheelchair amid a row with health chiefs over the child’s prosthetic leg.
Brooke Cheatle’s left leg was amputated when she was five years old after after she was born with a deformed limb and a missing left hand.
Last week the prosthetic limb was deemed “unsafe for use” by medical professionals after it began to fall apart, meaning the “fun-loving and energetic” girl now relies on her wheelchair.
Brooke’s mother, Rachael Pitcher, claims she has encountered many problems with Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) since surgeons removed the limb.
Miss Pitcher, from Barmouth, said: “After the amputation in 2014 Brooke was seen by the Artificial Limb and Appliance Centre (ALAC) in Wrexham.
“Initially things were okay but we struggled to get follow-up appointments and we were back and forth with different people.
“This went on until the third prosthetic leg was fitted in October last year.
“The foot fell off and then it was glued back on at a funny angle, then they sent it to us through the post without actually fitting it first.
“It started to rub against the back of her knee and cut in to the skin and caused pressure sores and blisters.
“I decided enough was enough and issued a verbal and written complaint to the health board.”
Miss Pitcher moved all of her daughter’s care to Alder Hey Childrens’ Hospital in Liverpool saying she had “lost all faith” in BCUHB.
She says she wrote to her GP applying for funding to transfer from ALAC to Clatterbridge Hospital, Wirral and claims the move was denied by BCUHB “with no explanation.”
Miss Pitcher said: “I’ve been told that Brooke’s care must remain in ALAC but they haven’t told me why.
“They have failed Brooke on so many occasions so I am determined to get her out of there.
“We are now looking for help with towards funding to have a private prosthetic fitted.
“She’s had so many issues with the limb it’s unbelievable – it’s cheap, poorly made and she can’t get it wet so she can’t participate in any water-based activities.
“Everything has been such a battle and it shouldn’t be.
“I don’t know why they wont just let us transfer, why are they holding on to Brooke’s case?”
Miss Pitcher says she now hopes to get Brooke transferred to hospitals in England after the Department of Health recently announced funding for children’s prosthetics, which aren’t available in Wales.
A BCUHB spokesman said health bosses were trying to sort Brooke’s problems out.
He said: “We’re sorry to hear that Brooke’s family are unhappy with the care she is receiving.
“As part of Brooke’s on-going care needs the Artificial Limb and Appliance Service in Wrexham has new prosthetic components which await fitting.
“At this time no date has been arranged with Brooke’s family for this to be carried out.
“We have contacted Brooke’s family again this week to discuss the matter.”
Miss Pitcher denied the health board had been trying to get in touch with her directly.
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Source : DailyPost