Tuesday 27 June 2017

€3.7m for young rugby fan paralysed after meningitis treatment

Tim Healy

A bright young rugby fan left paralysed after hospital treatment for meningitis as a baby has settled his action against the HSE with an interim payout of €3.7m.

The mother of Matthew McGrath (12) spoke of her relief that she will not "have to take on the system" any more after the HSE said Wexford General Hospital apologised to the family..

Matthew cannot move his arms or legs and can only breathe through a ventilator, the High Court heard.

To describe his injuries as catastrophic was an understatement, his counsel told the court.

Matthew, from Acacia, Kilmurray, Gorey, Co Wexford, sued the HSE through his mother Catherine McGrath as a result of his treatment at Wexford General Hospital when he was a baby.

It was claimed there was a delay in treating him for the infection and in particular with antibiotics.

Matthew McGrath from Wexford leaving court with his family today and gets a kiss from his mother Catherine, also included are his father Alan and Sister Nicola
Matthew McGrath from Wexford leaving court with his family today and gets a kiss from his mother Catherine, also included are his father Alan and Sister Nicola
Matthew McGrath speaking to the media on leaving the Four Courts

The settlement, with an interim payment of €3.73m for the next five years, included an admission of liability and an apology which the boy's solicitor, Roger Murray, read outside the court.

"The hospital extends unreservedly its unequivocal and heartfelt apology for the shortcomings in the care provided and the suffering and distress that this has caused," it said.

Speaking afterwards, Mrs McGrath described the apology as heartfelt and said: "There is a certain unexpected peace in the admission of liability.

"Life is still the same, but we won't have to take on the system as well as dealing with the daily challenges of caring for Matthew."

Desmond O'Neill, SC, for Matthew, said: "He is now completely paralysed, but is a bright intelligent, cheerful boy who goes to school and follows rugby."

As a baby, he said Matthew had to spend two years in hospital, but after a campaign by his parents he was allowed to be cared for at home.

Mr Justice Kevin Cross said it was a very good settlement.

Irish Independent

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