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03/08/2021

Hospital apologies to family of six year old boy who suffered brain injury at birth

Hospital apologies to  family of six year old boy who suffered brain injury at birth

Portiuncula University Hospital in Galway has apologised to the family of a six-year-old boy for the failures in care during his delivery.

Lucas Walker, who had an address in the Carrick-on-Shannon, suffered a brain injury during his birth in November 2014, the High Court was told.

Suing through his mother, Rachel Murphy, he is to receive €450,000 as part of a settlement approved by the court. The vast bulk of that, the court heard, will go towards future care.

Speaking to the Leitrim Observer following the case solicitor Damian Tansey said this is a unique case for a number of reasons.

He said the birth was mishandled but this was recognised quickly. Lucas had a hypoxia insult which can give rise to Cerebal Palsy.

He was moved to the Coombe hospital where he underwent a cooling treatment which is very effective once it is started quickly.

The HSE later set up an independent committee which was fully transparent and that a report was issued and published.

He added that normally the HSE would defend such matters putting families through a great ordeal but in this case they effectively "threw in the towel and didn't canvass any defence".

He said that  Lucas now requires a lot of speech therapy but  is attending normal school.

"He has some challenges.. some of which will manifest in later life".

He also added outside the court “He needs those therapies now, not in 10 or 15 years. Hopefully he will be in a position to lead a perfectly normal life,” Mr Tansey commented.

They family are now living in Co Galway.

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