€550k for musician still in a coma five years after operation
A talented musician who remains in a coma five years after undergoing surgery in a Dublin hospital has settled his High Court action for €550,000.
Robert Bolton (71) had a heart attack and slipped into a coma after an operation for cancer in St James's Hospital.
He cannot speak or communicate and has no reaction to the presence of family members, the court heard.
His wife Angela Bolton said she goes home alone after 30 years being with the same man.
"Nothing really compensates for that but we've done our best," she said. "All we wanted to find out was what happened."
Mr Bolton was a bass player who had got a degree from Trinity College as a mature student.
"He was an incredibly fit, well person, the apple of my eye and he's been an inspiration to me all these years," she said.
Through his wife, Mr Bolton, of Aungier Street, Dublin, sued St James's Hospital for alleged negligence arising from his treatment in October 2011, when he underwent surgery to the oesophagus.
He was transferred to ICU where it was claimed that, over 24 hours, he deteriorated.
His counsel, Desmond O'Neill, told the court Mr Bolton developed respiratory failure, early sepsis and had a heart attack on October 4, 2011. He suffered a hypoxic ischaemic brain injury and has been in a coma ever since. It was claimed there was an alleged failure to have regard to the fact that from the morning of October 4, his condition met the accepted criteria for a systemic inflammatory response and sepsis.
There was an alleged failure to have regard to the fact that Mr Bolton was developing early sepsis-related organ failures.
The claims were denied but, the court heard, there was a part admission on liability in relation to a certain aspect of the case.