Sent home with ‘half a skull’: Young mum’s anxious wait

A YOUNG mother of four with a hole in her skull is among thousands of sick Queenslanders on a blown-out waiting list for surgery.

Brisbane nurse Amy Duthie is due to head home from hospital this week with a hole in her head from lifesaving brain surgery three months ago.

The brave mother-of-four must wear a helmet until surgeons can repair the hand-sized hole in her skull.

Amy Duthie had brain surgery in May.
Amy Duthie had brain surgery in May.

 

She has to wear a helmet until she has an operation to repair the hole.
She has to wear a helmet until she has an operation to repair the hole.

But Ms Duthie has only just been added to the least-urgent Category 3 waiting list - the same as knee operations, with a wait of up to 12 months - for her operation.

Her worried husband, Matt Duthie, said yesterday his wife should not have to wait too long.

"I can't see how knees and brains can be ranked in the same category because if you've got no way of protecting your brain and if you hit your head, you're in strife,'' he told The Sunday-Mail yesterday.

"With four kids under five, it's a huge risk, especially if she has to wait a year.

"The hole is the size of your hand - it's soft tissue, with skin covering the brain because the bone isn't there.''

Amy Duthie is due to be sent home from hospital this week.
Amy Duthie is due to be sent home from hospital this week.

Mr Duthie said his wife had not been given a date for her reconstructive surgery, but was told that surgeons were not doing any Category 3 operations.

Federal Queensland MP for Bowman Dr Andrew Laming, a former eye surgeon, yesterday slammed Queensland Health.

"One would think heading home without half your skull to a household full of young children is hardly non-urgent,'' he said.

Ms Duthie, who will spend her 27th birthday at the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane on Tuesday, underwent brain surgery in May for acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM), a rare form of brain inflammation.

The family has a GoFundMe page.


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