Daughter 'did not die in vain' as hospital says sorry
Published 04/11/2011 | 05:00
A leading maternity hospital has apologised before the High Court over its treatment of the mother of a baby girl who died 16 months after suffering complications at birth.
South Korean native Mihwa Seo and her Polish husband Mariusz Ratynski had sued Dublin's Rotunda Hospital arising from the circumstances of the birth of their daughter Jessica Seo in August 2007.
The child was born at the hospital in August 2007 and it was claimed the hospital was negligent in its treatment of Mrs Seo and that resulted in Jessica suffering serious injuries at birth.
Jessica's parents were at the High Court yesterday where Mr Justice John Quirke was told a confidential settlement had been reached in the case. A statement on behalf of the hospital was also read to the court by its counsel Emily Egan.
In the statement, the hospital said it and its staff offered "sincere and heartfelt apologies" to the parents of Jessica.
The hospital acknowledged that the care provided to Mrs Seo around the time of the birth of her baby daughter Jessica "was not as it should have been and was not as Mihwa was entitled to expect".
The hospital said "significant changes have been put in place to prevent a tragedy of this kind from happening again, including an increase in medical and midwifery staff and improved facilities".
The hospital acknowledged that "the traumatic events and loss of their only child must have caused Mihwa and her husband Mariusz huge grief".
It also acknowledged the pain and suffering the couple experienced while caring for their severely disabled daughter during her lifetime and acknowledged the huge impact of her death on her parents.
It added: "The hospital is sorry to hear that these events have had a devastating effect on the previously happy relationship between Mariusz and Mihwa and that they have found it impossible to cope."
It extended heartfelt apologies to Jessica's parents and their families.
In court, Mr Justice Quirke offered his sympathies to the couple and said their daughter "did not die in vain".
He assured them that as a consequence of the tragic events "other children will be saved".
He added: "I regret that you had to come here and that you had to suffer so much."
Speaking outside the court, the couple said they accepted the apology and said it was important for future mothers that facilities at the hospital have been improved.