Professor Peter Mortimer, leading Lymphoedema consultant, with Monica Conway, Lymphoedema Consultant Practitioner based in Clonmel
Lymphoedema is a swelling of a limb or any part of the body following treatment for cancer.
It can also be a genetic condition.
The treatment for lymphoedema is a specialist Manual Lymph Drainage technique (a type of massage) to drain the fluid through the body to a healthy area where it drains normally and is returned to the blood stream.
The National Lymphoedema Framework Ireland (NLFI) is a voluntary organisation whose main focus is to improve care for patients with the condition.
NLFI recently held the first-ever National Children’s Lymphoedema Camp at Hotel Minella in Clonmel.
The aim of the event was to educate parents and children in the management of the condition.
The children enjoyed a day of learning through play, and each parent left the camp feeling that they were better equipped to look after their child.
The attendance included consultants from St. James’ Hospital in Dublin and Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital in Crumlin, as well as Professor Peter Mortimer from St. George’s and The Royal Marsden Hospitals in London, and Dr. Markus Killinger from The Wittlinger Clinic in Austria.
Above - Attending the National Children’s Lymphoedema Education Camp in Clonmel were, from left, Professor Peter Mortimer, St. George’s and The Royal Marsden Hospitals, London; Olive Carney, Mater Misericordiae University Hospital; Norah Kyne, Galway, physiotherapist and Lymphoedema therapist; Elaine Grehan, Galway, MLD therapist; Meadbh MacSweeney, Cork, Lymphoedema nurse specialist and Monica Conway, Mary Street medical centre, Clonmel, Lymphoedema consultant practitioner and secretary of the National Lymphoedema Framework Ireland
“Most of these children never met anybody with this condition before and neither had their parents, which makes them feel very isolated”, says Monica Conway, a Lymphoedema consultant practitioner based at the Mary Street medical centre in Clonmel who is also the secretary of NLFI.
“There are no support mechanisms for sufferers and some patients have never even seen a therapist, so they don't know how to manage the condition.
“The camp was so successful that we are planning to run another, even bigger camp next year and in two years time we plan to hold the international event here in Clonmel, which will bring parents and their children from Europe and the UK”, she added.