Little Aoibh must travel to Belfast for EEG tests

Brid and Aoibh Cutliffe. (3005SL17) Photo: Stephen Latimer
Brid and Aoibh Cutliffe. (3005SL17) Photo: Stephen Latimer

The mother of a Derry girl who suffers up to 80 epileptic seizures per day has revealed how her daughter has to travel to Belfast for EEG medical tests despite the fact the equipment required is also based at Derry’s Altnagelvin Hospital.

Brid Cutliffe says the journey she and her six year-old daughter Aoibh have to make: “adds to the strain of her condition.”

“My little fighter has to be woke in the middle of the night to go to the hospital for tests,” she said. “While I’d go to the ends of the earth for any of my children I don’t think waking Aoibh at 5am and taking her to Belfast is the best medical practice, especially considering there is a machine five minutes out the road.”

EEG (Electro Encephalogram) tests, which measure the electrical activity of the brain, must be undertaken with the patient both awake and asleep. Brid is quick to praise the work of the medical team at Altnagelvin: “When Aoibh was born, we didn’t know if she’d be able to lift her head on her own, now she’s the best dancer in Derry. All thanks to the work of her medical team at Altnagelvin and Belfast and Foyleview School staff. We are so lucky in Derry to have such a fantastic team locally but if there is an EEG technician and a nurse, why can’t tests be completed locally and results sent to Belfast electronically, surely that is possible?”