AN IRISH politician has issued a major health update after spending two nights on a hospital trolley.
Fine Gael TD Joe Carey was rushed to University Hospital Limerick on Saturday evening after he began to struggle to breathe.
In a tweet this afternoon, Carey said that he had to cancel some of his constituency appointments as he continues to rest in the hospital's emergency department.
He was admitted to hospital on Saturday evening by ambulance from his home following a 30 minute period when he "just couldn't breathe".
He said: "This never happened before and there is a battery of tests lined up for me.
"It appears to be an infection in my lung which is ironic - as I had given up smoking cigarettes 26 days ago today."
Despite being trolley bound, the TD said he is getting "great care".
The Clare man also thanksed "all the nurses, doctors, porters, catering and cleaning staff for their kindness and help".
He added: The ambulance crew were simply amazing and I can't thank them enough for their professionalism and care.
"Hopefully I'll be out and about before too long."
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Dozens of Carey's political colleagues have sent their well wishes to the Fine Gael TD.
Fianna Fail senator Timmy Dooley said: "Mind yourself Joe - and look forward to having you back on the road shortly."
Fine Gael's Martin Conway added: "Look after yourself Joe hope your back in action soon."
Fellow Clare TD Cathal Crowe said: "Wishing you a full and speedy recovery Joe! Mind yourself!"
Joe Carey is one of 525 patients currently waiting for a bed in Irish hospitals according to figures published by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation.
He is also joined by 76 bedless patients in University Hospital Limerick, which is currently the most overcrowded hospital nationally.
Just last month the Emergency Department at the Hospital was “in a state of high risk” of not being able to adequately manage numbers of patients coming through its doors, according to the UL Hospital Group.
Photographs taken from inside the cramped corridors of UHL showed patients on trolleys stacked up against one another along both sides of corridors in the ED.
The images also show staff treating elderly and younger patients who lay cheek by jowl on trolleys with no adequate privacy or dignity.
One of the photos taken inside the ED today shows a female doctor forced to squeeze sideways past two trolleys on either side of a corridor in one of the ED zones.