Mum refuses to give up on getting right help for sick teen
TARANGANBA mum Chrissy Dunphy has for almost two decades battled the Queensland Health bureaucracy in a bid to get the right treatment for her daughter and she is not about to throw in the towel.
The Morning Bulletin this week got a glimpse into the incredible life of teenager Lissy Dunphy who suffers from a severe form of epilepsy.
TOP STORIES ONLINE TODAY
Chrissy is determined to raise awareness of how difficult it is for people with severe disabilities, like her daughter, to get medical support.
She urged the Queensland Health Service to give people with disabilities a fair go and to treat them as they do those who don't have an impairment. Lissy's physical appearance is very much like that of any 19-year-old.
Her intellectual capacity however equals that of a six-month-old baby.
Lissy suffers Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome (LSG), a severe form of epilepsy and intellectual impairment.
Chrissy said her daughter has sporadic drop seizures which adversely affect her day-to-day life. She sometimes endures up to 20 seizures a day.
Lissy was born a healthy baby girl in December 1996 but when she was just six weeks old she developed epilepsy and her life took a sudden turn.
LSG is a difficult-to-treat form of childhood-onset epilepsy that usually presents between the second and sixth year of life.
After it first presented, subsequent tests revealed Lissy's electroencephalo-graphy (EEG) was severely abnormal.
EEG is the recording of electrical activity along the scalp. EEG measures voltage fluctuations resulting from ionic current flows within the neurons of the brain.
In the ensuing 18 years, Chrissy has juggled her home life as a single mum and round-the-clock carer for Lissy with her work commitments as a teacher at North Rockhampton High School. Chrissy's daily routine, if she's not working, revolves around caring for her daughter and her ongoing battle with the health bureaucracy.
In recent times she has been attempting to get a medical authority's approval so Lissy can have a general anaesthetic to allow a dentist to examine her mouth. Chrissy said Lissy has ongoing oral health issues, which could include having an abscess inside her mouth, but a trip to the dentist is not a simple exercise.
"You can't get near her," Chrissy said.
"She's not aggressive but she will fight you because she doesn't understand what's happening.
"I think after years of medical interventions, and there have been many, she's very defensive.
"It doesn't matter what she does to herself or what happens to her, you can't touch her.
"The only way she can have any treatment at all is under a general anaesthetic and this is the big problem, she responds well to me but there is no way I can look into her mouth or attend to her badly ingrown toenail at the moment.
"I am worried about my daughter. When I leave this life, I just want her to be safe and have a long life."