Sunday 11 December 2016

High Court approves €10million lump sum payment for man who has 'locked-in syndrome' following surgery

Tim Healy

Published 16/11/2015 | 17:23

After the surgery, he lapsed into a coma-like state with devastating brain injuries and is quadriplegic.
After the surgery, he lapsed into a coma-like state with devastating brain injuries and is quadriplegic.

A MOTHER has told of the "enormous strain" her family endured in fighting a case for their brain damaged son.

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It followed the High Court's approval today of a €10million lump sum payment in final settlement of Eoin O'Mahony's action against the HSE.

Eoin (32) has "locked-in syndrome" - a coma-like state which has left him quadriplegic - following an operation at Cork University Hospital.

The award by Mr Justice Michael Moriarty for the future care needs of Mr O'Mahony, Blarney, Co Cork brings to €14.1milion the total monies paid out in settlement of his action against the HSE.

The payout also ranks among the highest paid out in a personal injury case.

Mr O’Mahony was a 17-year old Leaving Certificate student in November 2001 when he had headaches and was admitted to Cork University Hospital where brain surgery was carried out on December 1.

After the surgery, he lapsed into a coma-like state with devastating brain injuries and is quadriplegic.

The court heard he cannot even use his finger to press a button if he needs help and essentially suffers from locked-in syndrome.

Five years ago, he settled his High Court action against the HSE, which conceded liability, on terms including an interim payment of €2.9m. He secured a further interim payment of €1.2m in 2012.

Mr Justice Moriarty outlined the total figure in final settlement of the case and said his judgement giving the breakdown will be available in the next few days

Outside court, his mother Karen O'Mahony said the stance taken by the State and the HSE in the case put enormous stress and strain on the family both financially and emotionally.

She said this stress and strain happened "when we were at out weakest , consumed with the 24 hour care of Eoin."

She and her husband Edmund had struggled for 14 years to achieve the best possible care for Eoin, she said.

For the last ten years they had "battled in Eoin's interest against the might of the State and the HSE through three High Court trials."

She also said: "It is time for candour and honesty to prevail and to be openly displayed by hospitals, consultants and doctors.

"It is time that these tragic cases are dealt with promptly, honestly and sympathetically by the State."

It was time people like Eoin "are treated with respect and honesty and are facilitated to lead as fulfilling a life as possible, " she said.

Despite having locked-in syndrome and being quadriplegic, she said Eoin "very much enjoys the company of family and friends. He loves music and likes to go to concerts, plays, cinema and matches".

She said Eoin makes the most of his life with the help of his highly motivated team of personal assistants, nurses , home helps and therapists.

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