HSE reaches settlement with with parents of Donegal 4 year old


The HSE has reached a settlement of €2.5 million in the case of a four year old Donegal boy who has Cerebral Palsy after he sustained a catastrophic brain injury during his birth.
In addition, Letterkenny University Hospital issued an apology to his parents.
Jack McGahern was born at Letterkenny University Hospital on August 5th 2015, the second child of Denise McGahern and Seamus Donaghey of Drumfergus Killygordon.
Denise’s pregnancy was uneventful and she was admitted to Letterkenny University Hospital for induction of labour on the 3rd August 2015
On the 5th August 2015 Jack was born in very poor condition, and had to be transferred to the Coombe Hospital for therpautic cooling because of hypoxic ishaemic brain injury. Jack’s mother brought proceedings against the HSE regarding the circumstances of Jack’s birth, in which it was alleged that due to the negligence of the HSE in failing to monitor, read and interpret the CTG monitor during labour, Jack sustained a catastrohic hypoxic insult, and there was a failure to anticipate the need for resuscitation immediately after birth with the result that Jack ‘s brain suffered irreversible and profound hypoxic injury leading to cerebral palsy.
Proceedings were initiated by Jack’s parents in 2017, through their Solicitor Jolene McElhinney of McElhinney & Associates and the HSE defended the case fully. Although Jack was still a toddler in 2017, Jack’s parents were adamant that if the circumstances of Jack’s birth confirmed negligence in clinical care, then proceedings should be initiated and prosecuted with all due alacrity to ensure that Jack got the vital multi-disciplinary services and care that he required, as soon as was legally achievable.
On the 16th December 2019, the HSE agreed an interim settlement for a period of 10 years in the sum of €2.5 million. In addition, Letterkenny General Hospital issued an apology to Jack’s parents.
The interim settlement is before Judge Cross on Friday the 20th December 2019 to be ruled and the parents have expressed relief that this very stressful and frightening time has come to an end, and are also relieved that the settlement will allow them to implement the care support and interventions that Jack needs.
The case will come before the courts again in 10 years’ time to re-assess  Jack’s needs for the rest of his life.
In a statement, their solicitor says that whilst the apology from the HSE concerning the failures that led to Jack’s devastating injuries is welcome, the family are saddened and weary of the legal process and struggle to understand why it took an adversarial legal process to bring about an explanation, and to procure an apology.

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