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I'm not going away' - mother's fight for son's medical card

Last month we heard from a Limerick woman, Noreen Keane, who stood outside a Fine Gael conference for three hours in the hope of having words with Taoiseach Enda Kenny.

Noreen's eight year old son Ronan was born with Down's syndrome and suffers chronic asthma, breathing difficulties and thyroid problems. Due to his conditions he needs as lot of medication and requires frequent doctor visits. Last December, Ronan's medical card - which he's had since he was born - was withdrawn when it was up for renewal. Noreen decided to appeal the decision.

We decided to catch up with Noreen to see if her situation has progressed.

'I've now been told as of last Tuesday that Ronan is still not entitled to a medical card and we won't get it back', she said. 'What they're offering me instead is a long-term illness card.'

'A long-term illness card will just provide his medication and appliances. It won't give him access to a GP which is obviously his primary need and I wonder how he can get access to prescriptions without going to his GP'.

'Ronan's needs are so great' she continued. 'I've costed them and it's somewhere in the region of ?2,500 per month including childcare.'

'Quite frankly I'm not going away and this campaign is going to accelerate. I'll continue to campaign until my child's card is reinstated and I will not accept a long-term illness card because it's only part of the package that he requires.'

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