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Patient is told he could wait year for MRI scan

By Donna Deeney

Published 13/05/2015

Johnnie Hunter from Limavady, who suffers from a rare spinal disease causing him constant pain
Johnnie Hunter from Limavady, who suffers from a rare spinal disease causing him constant pain

A Limavady man suffering from a painful spinal disease is facing a year-long wait for a neurology appointment.

Johnnie Hunter (44) was diagnosed with a syringomyelia, a rare condition which affects the nerve endings, causing extreme pain which progressively extends to all parts of the body.

A specialist caring for Mr Hunter ordered an MRI scan for him as the condition appears to be spreading - but he has now found out it could be a year away.

"I couldn't believe it when the guy told me I wasn't an urgent case. I'd like someone to tell me what an urgent case is if I don't fit the bill, because I am in so much constant pain there are times I feel like throwing the towel in."

A Belfast Trust spokeswoman, confirming the delay, said: "Due to the high demand and specialist nature, the current waiting time in Belfast Trust for routine/non-urgent neurological MRI scans is approximately 12 months. All patients are seen chronologically and based on their clinical need."

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