When Melbourne mother-of-two Kylie Hennessy was diagnosed with a brain tumor in August, she needed an urgent functional MRI scan before critical surgery.
She was admitted to Alfred Hospital, only to find out that the fMRI didn’t work there.
She was then referred to Royal Melbourne Hospital, where she waited 90 minutes before being told fMRI was also not working properly.
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After unsuccessful attempts to find a working fMRI elsewhere in Victoria, Kylie and her husband Jason decided to seek help in Adelaide, 1000 miles away.
“I’ve lost count of how many places I’ve called across the state,” Jason told 7NEWS.
“We made the decision to go to Adelaide and within 24 hours (the hospital) had the results back for us at The Alfred.”
Jason said it was “disgusting” that two of Melbourne’s largest hospitals could not provide adequate healthcare for someone with a potentially life-threatening tumour.
“We’re not talking about a broken arm or anything, that’s life-saving surgery that she needs,” he said.
“It’s 2022, we’re in Australia, we’re not in a third world country – we should have a well-functioning and funded healthcare system.”
Responding to the Hennessys’ situation, Victoria’s Education Minister Natalie Hutchins said on Wednesday that occasionally equipment needs maintenance and “sometimes you just have to roll the punches”.
“If that means you have to go somewhere else for that, you will,” Hutchins said.
Her comments quickly came under fire, including from the Hennessys.
“I can’t believe anyone would even consider saying something like that, it’s inexcusable,” Kylie said.
A few hours later, the minister apologized on social media.
“Having gone through the pain and uncertainty of battling cancer with my late husband Steve, I know how stressful and anxious this time is for the Hennessy family,” she tweeted.
“I understand that this may have caused some distress and I am sorry that this happened.”
Health Secretary Mary-Anne Thomas addressed the media on Wednesday afternoon and said she acknowledged the “stressful circumstances in which Ms Hennessy has found herself”.
Thomas said a plan was underway to ensure she had access to another fMRI in Victoria but due to “misunderstandings” those arrangements had not been made.
“I don’t want anyone to leave this … and think we have anything but the utmost sympathy for the experience that Ms. Hennessey has gone through at an already incredibly stressful time,” Thomas said.
Kylie is now preparing for brain surgery at Alfred Hospital, but a date has not yet been set.
She said she is confident she will weather whatever the future holds with her family by her side.
“They’re all going to be there to help me and support me, so yeah I think we have that,” she said.
https://7news.com.au/news/vic/kylie-hennessey-left-to-travel-interstate-for-mri-before-brain-surgery-c-8237137 Kylie Hennessey traveled to the MRI ahead of brain surgery