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Brian gets surgery date at last

Patrick Woods

JULY 29 is just a date but for Gympie mother Patrina Birchall, it means so much.

The Gympie Times last week detailed Ms Birchall's battle with Queensland Health to address her son's ongoing health problems.

Brian, 9, has a long history of bowel difficulties and is in need of a surgical procedure to biopsy and diagnose a delay in his lower bowels.

Ms Birchall has been frustrated that three years of numerous medical appointments and hospital admissions have left the family in limbo with diagnosis and treatment out of reach.

But all that changed Thursday afternoon when Brian's mother received the call she had been hoping for.

A doctor from Nambour Hospital confirmed a date for surgery next month.

Queensland Health earlier maintained in a statement Brian was within the acceptable waiting period for surgery as a Category 2 patient.

Ms Birchall, however, felt years of searching for answers and being handballed around in the system was being overlooked.

Brian's condition has left him unable to regularly attend school and participate in normal childhood activities while Ms Birchall has had to take extended leave without pay from her job to provide care for her son, living on a carer's pension.

"I'm so relieved and Brian is feeling better knowing mum is doing better," Ms Birchall said.

With online comments tracking the story questioning Brian's diet and exercise, Ms Birchall wanted to make it clear she had "tried it all" in the pursuit of answers.

"I'm a worker and not a person who chooses to sit at home," she said.

"I do work, have always worked, paid taxes and I don't look for handouts," the mother added, stressing her leave from work without pay was necessary to support and care for her son.

Topics:  queensland health surgery

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