Wrexham mother angry after Minister's comments

Reporter:

Claire Gallagher

AN ANGRY mother has emailed Health Minister Edwina Hart following her comments branding campaigners as mischief makers.

Ruth Drake and Clare Brown started a campaign against the possible closure of maternity and children’s services at the Wrexham Maelor Hospital earlier this month.

As we reported yesterday, Health Minister Edwina Hart said she was “fed up” with people causing mischief and issued a warning to campaigners to stop worrying people.

Ruth, whose toddler Elin has severe cerebral palsy and needs regular care at the Maelor, was so upset by the comments she has emailed Mrs Hart’s secretary.

In the email Ruth wrote: “I am the mother who is spearheading the campaign to raise awareness of the possible closures of children's services in Wrexham.

“Therefore I am, in the words of Mrs Hart ‘mischievous’.

“Please explain to Mrs Hart that my much longed for baby was stillborn in Wrexham two years ago.

“They managed to resuscitate her but she spent a further four weeks on special care.

“She was completely and irreversibly brain damaged as a result of her birth and will be severely disabled for the rest of her life.

“You probably think you can imagine the devastating effect this had on the lives of my husband and our families, but you can't.

“My daughter is constantly in and out of hospital and our lives have been turned upside down.

“I cried for over an hour this morning when I read the full extent of Mrs Hart’s comments in the Leader.

“Not only am I far from being mischievous, but I am also desperate to convey to her that yes, of course we would travel to the furthest point in the country to get the best care for Elin, as she said she would have done had her child been ill.

“However, she misses the main point. We have indeed been to specialist hospitals such as Alder Hey regularly to get the best for our daughter.

“But it is the day to day, week to week care that we need the Wrexham Children’s Services for.

“How ignorant to imply that we are merely being lazy wanting to keep services on our doorstep.

“No doubt many of Mrs Hart’s colleagues this morning have been shocked by her extremely ill-advised comments.

“My co-campaigner lost her only child to cancer this year and the Wrexham children’s services were an absolute godsend.

“I wonder if Miss Hart would like to suggest to her that she should have travelled to Great Ormond Street for treatment every day?

“Clearly Mrs Hart has no concept of what it is like to live with a terminally sick child.”

A Welsh Assembly Government spokesman: "The Minister's office has received correspondence from Ruth Drake.

“The Minister will respond to her directly in due course."

See full story in the Leader

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