Tuesday 22 August 2017

'Unequivocal and heartfelt' apology for husband after death of his pregnant wife

Malak Thawley, who died in Holles Street Maternity Hospital last May
Malak Thawley, who died in Holles Street Maternity Hospital last May
Dr Rhona Mahony, Master of the National Maternity Hospital Holles Street Picture: David Conachy
Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

The husband of Malak Thawley, who died at the National Maternity Hospital in Dublin while undergoing surgery for an ectopic pregnancy, has received an "unequivocal and heartfelt" apology for "shortcomings" in her care.

The master of Holles Street, Dr Rhona Mahony, in a letter to Alan Thawley this week said the hospital apologised for the "shortcomings in the care" provided to Ms Thawley, "which resulted in her untimely death", and for the distress and suffering caused.

She said: "We appreciate that in this circumstance, there are no words that can begin to address the pain that follows the loss of Malak's life."

Ms Thawley (35) died in May last year after one of her main blood vessels was accidentally damaged during the operation.

Malak Thawley, who died in Holles Street Maternity Hospital last May, pictured with her husband Alan
Malak Thawley, who died in Holles Street Maternity Hospital last May, pictured with her husband Alan

An internal hospital report said Ms Thawley, who was undergoing a simple keyhole operation, died after one of her main blood vessels was accidentally cut by a sharp-pointed instrument used to create an opening early on in the surgery.

But it was not recognised for several minutes and, even when the accident was discovered, it took another 15 minutes before she got emergency treatment, according to an investigation report.

Caoimhe Haughey, solicitor for the Thawley family, said yesterday: "The apology has only been forthcoming in the last number of days. Obtaining an appropriate apology has been very difficult."

She said the inquest into Mrs Thawley's cause of death, due to go ahead next week, has had to be postponed.

She said she was informed this was due to a delay by the hospital in providing all correspondence.

Correspondence from the coroner's court said that "the coroner awaits correspondence from the legal representatives of the National Maternity Hospital".

Once this is provided, it will be possible to compile a witness list and a new date will be set.

Mr Thawley has previously spoken of his heartbreak and how bereft he feels at the loss of his "beautiful wife, my best friend".

The couple were living in Ireland where Mr Thawley, an American, was working. Ms Thawley, a teacher, was originally from Syria.

The hospital declined to comment yesterday.

Irish Independent

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