Boy left brain-damaged after operation receives €3.5million
A four year old boy was left profoundly brain damaged after an operation he had at Our Lady’s Hospital for Sick Children in Crumlin when he was a baby. The hospital yesterday issued an ‘unequivocal, unreserved and heartfelt’ apology at the High Court.
The apology was read as part of a settlement of four-year old Jude Miley’s action. This action involves an interim payment of 3.5 million in order to meet his care needs over the next couple of years. The hospital ‘appreciated and greatly regretted the huge trauma suffered by the family.’
The case will come back before the court in 2018 when Jude’s future care needs will be assessed.
In January 2012 a condition regarding the contour of his diaphragm was diagnosed. This procedure was alleged to be below the required standard of care.
A suture used in an operation to release his diaphragm and help his breathing remained untrimmed and caused damage to a heart muscle. Two days later, he suffered a heart attack and was rushed for life-saving emergency surgery. During the cardiac arrest, his brain was deprived of oxygen and suffered irreversible damage.
Counsel for the Miley family stated that the baby’s heart was being pierced by the suture and his mother (a public health nurse) raised concerns about her son following on from the surgery but these were dismissed as the comments of ‘fussy parents’.. The family were also told that their son would be in a vegetative state after the surgery, but following on from extensive therapies in the UK and USA he is now able to walk, run, talk and eat normally, albeit slowly.
Approving the settlement, Mr Justice Kevin Cross commended the family for their care of their son.
In a statement made by the family outside of the court following on from the result of the settlement the family criticised a ‘lack of honesty and frankness’ on the part of the hospital and said they were led to believe that the catastrophic events that happened after the surgery were ‘simply an unfortunate complication of the operation.’
The parents’ statement concluded by saying that while the legal system worked in favour of their son, what didn’t work for him was ‘the failure of the hospital to engage with us and the legal system in an honest, open and integral fashion. If they had done so, our journey would have been so much easier and Jude rehabilitated far sooner.’