Friday 19 October 2018

'Aisling's life mattered' - apology for parents forced to bring stillborn baby through hospital service entrance

Tracey Jones Furey and Eamonn Furey pictured holding a picture of their daughter, Aisling
Photo: Collins Courts
Tracey Jones Furey and Eamonn Furey pictured holding a picture of their daughter, Aisling Photo: Collins Courts

Tim Healy

THE National Maternity Hospital has apologised in the High Court for the "shortcomings in care" which resulted in the death of a baby girl.

The apology came as the parents of baby Aisling Furey settled their High Court action over her death five years ago.

Outside court, parents Tracey Jones Furey and Eamonn Furey told how when they left the hospital grieving five years ago they had to bring their baby girl who was stillborn out through a service entrance.

In a letter from the Master of the Dublin hospital Dr Rhona Mahony read to the court, the hospital offered "our sincere apology to you and your family in relation to the death of your baby daughter Aisling in the hospital on June 27, 2013.

It added "The hospital extends its sincere apology for the shortcomings in care provided to you which resulted in the death of Aisling and for the distress and suffering this has caused you and your family."

The parents, in a statement, said the the hospital has assured them the practice of leaving through a side door would not be allowed to continue.

"The practice of taking grieving families and their babies out the side door seemed in an instant to assign Aisling's life to that of a secret," Ms Jones Furey said.

She added: "It demonstrated to us that Aisling was no longer worthy of the dignity and respect that other babies who hadn't died were given by the hospital. It had a lasting impact on our memory of leaving the hospital."

Tracey and Eamonn Furey pictured holding a picture of their daughter Aisling
Photo: Collins Courts
Tracey and Eamonn Furey pictured holding a picture of their daughter Aisling Photo: Collins Courts

She said the circumstances surrounding Aisling's death caused their family significant distress and devastation.

"Aisling's life mattered and as parents the only gift we could give her was that of her legacy.

"Thankfully we both possess the tenacity, strength and family support that allowed us to fight on behalf of our daughter.

"We are very sad that our darling Aisling who would now be five is not with our family today however we continue to celebrate how much we loved her and she is continually remembered and included in our family celebrations," she said.

Ms Jones Furey, Ayrfield Road, Dublin 13, had sued the Holles Street hospital over the circumstances of her Aisling's birth and death.

Ms Jones Furey was admitted to the hospital on June 19, 2013, at 28 weeks gestation.  The mother was kept in for observation and on June 27 she experienced pressure and abdominal pain and two  hours later was physically examined and found to be in premature labour. Aisling was later delivered stillborn.

It was claimed there was a failure to maintain any or any adequate maternal and foetal monitoring or supervision and a failure to intervene to deliver the baby by cesarean section with sufficient speed. It was further claimed there was a failure to investigate adequately or at all the death of the baby.

Liability was admitted in the case.

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