“We are constantly refused the medical records by the HSE”

By Maurice Garvey

NOT knowing the medical records of your birth parents is another painful reminder for survivors of Mother and Baby Homes.

David Kinsella (57), from Clondalkin, spent four traumatic years at the St Patrick's Mother and Baby Home on the Navan Road, and never saw his birth mother again.

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Along with other survivors, David feels "excluded" from the Irish State's apology to survivors of the Magdalene Laundries.

He has been campaigning with the Coalition of Mother and Baby Homes Survivors (CMABS) to request the terms of reference are widened to include all persons affected in the institutions.

Before Christmas, David and CMABS members met with South Dublin County Mayor Sarah Holland – who has spoken out against the injustice for survivors on countless occasions – to keep the campaign on track.

After the meeting at council chambers, David fell ill with a tick-stroke, and spent two days in hospital recovering from high blood pressure.

A lack of clarity with regard to his own medical records and a complete lack of knowledge of his birth parents medical records, continues to cause hardship for David and others like him.

David said: “It was partly my own fault (getting sick). I wasn't taking my medication. In hindsight, the stress and high blood pressure stems from pre-world conditions and the ordeal of trying to get justice.

“We are constantly refused the medical records by the HSE. All my birth family have passed but I have no access to the records.”

With regard to his own health, David feels It's important to know his birth parents medical history, if it “can pin it down to some genetic disposition.”

“I have a strong hunch who my father is but I'm still trying to get 100 per cent clarification from the HSE,” he said.

“An end to that type of turmoil, could bring closure.”

Tallaght man Tony Kelly, who was fostered out from a mother and baby home to 10 families, feels it is wrong not to give survivors medical records.

Mr Kelly said: “My contention is that giving a person their medical records would not in any way identify ones natural parents as is the excuse of the HSE and the State.”

Meanwhile, David and a number of other survivors including Parkwest resident Terri Harrison, received a positive boost, with the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes inviting them in for a meeting next Tuesday.

Prior to this, survivors have been interviewed individually by the Commission - leading to reports of survivors being grilled and receiving no counselling for what is a horrific ordeal for elderly and fragile survivors.

David continued: “The Commission and Judge Yvonne Murphy responded to the letter sent in by Paul Redmond (Chairperson CMABS). It's the first time collectively, a group of survivors will be able to talk to them.

“A lot of survivors are getting older so time is of the essence. One man died recently who was the same age as myself. We are trying to bring about an apology, acknowledgement and redress.”

 

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