A retired nurse manager holidaying in Tullamore with her brother is extremely grateful to a young local doctor who she says changed her life with his diagnosis.
Margaret Pinkman, originally from Roscommon, was home from Edinburgh visiting her brother John Sweeney who lives on Whitehall Estate when she developed a cold.
Her brother brought her to visit Dr Sean O'Brien who practices at the 'The Avenue Clinic', Church View, Tullamore.
''I had a bad cold. Dr Sean O'Brien looked at my throat and he summed it all up when he said I think you have coeliac disease,'' Margaret said Dr O'Brien made the diagnoses after he found changes in her mouth including ulcers on her tongue. She had blood tests at Tullamore hospital and they confirmed Dr O'Brien's diagnosis.
''When the results came back it changed my life tremendously. I had been sick and couldn't eat certain foods. I used to get pains in my tummy. It affected my immune system, I was prone to getting severe chest infections which wasn't like me I had always been very healthy.''Margaret will now have to adhere to a strict gluten free diet and her whole family is being tested for the disease.
''I was so impressed with the sharpness and skill of this very young doctor and he looked stressed. He was a very consciousness young doctor. I would be the first to say if I thought the doctor wasn't competent,'' remarked Margaret who also complimented Dr James Quinlan of the same practice who at the behest of Dr O'Brien gave a second opinion.
Margaret commented that ''we are always giving out about doctors and the health system and I felt I wanted to do something to highlight this young doctor.'' She was also extremely impressed with the treatment she received at Tullamore hospital.
Margaret first went to London to train as a nurse before moving to Edinburgh to specialise in midwifery. She returns to Ireland up to three times a year.