Saturday 21 September 2019

Couple launch High Court action against Beaumont Hospital over failed kidney transplant

Wife donated kidney to husband

Pat and Denise Ryan of Ballypatrick, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary pictured leaving the Four Courts after a High Court action. Pic: Collins Courts
Pat and Denise Ryan of Ballypatrick, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary pictured leaving the Four Courts after a High Court action. Pic: Collins Courts

Tim Healy

A couple has launched a High Court action against Beaumont Hospital in Dublin over a failed kidney transplant.

Denise Ryan donated a kidney to her husband who was 22 months on the transplant waiting list, but that transplant failed and days later he had to have another transplant from a deceased donor which was successful, the court heard.

Mrs Ryan (51) claims she now suffers from post traumatic stress disorder and is without a second kidney and had expected her kidney to live on in her husband.

Her 56-year old husband Pat who ended up having three operations instead of one told the court on Friday he was very grateful for the second transplant but his wife was devastated.

“It was a huge blow to her [that] I had another person’s kidney in me,’ he said.

The Ryans, of Ballypatrick, Clonmel, Co Tipperary have sued Beaumont Hospital Board over their care when Mrs Ryan’s kidney was removed and placed in her husband in a transplant operation at the hospital, Dublin on January 20, 2014.

It has been claimed Mr Ryan was provided with an organ which was not effective and underwent a good deal of mental distress and an alleged unnecessary and failed operation.

It is claimed on Mrs Ryan’s behalf that following the operation she was advised the transplant did not go well and that an alleged mismatch in size of the kidney was at issue. It is claimed she became depressed and suffered grief for the loss of an organ.

The hospital denies the claims and denies negligence.

Opening the case, her counsel Jeremy Maher said Mr Ryan had kidney problems and had been on dialysis. He was on the transplant waiting list for 22 months.

Mr Ryan had "waited and waited and waited" for the phone call telling him there was a matching donor kidney but it never came. Counsel said that Mrs Ryan was a suitable match.

He said a living donation is a routine procedure but one if the disadvantages is the loss of the kidney for a donor and the effects of failure if the transplant is not a success.

“Transplant failure can leave the donor suffering psychological injury. It has happened in this case with devastating consequences for the Ryans”  Counsel said.

Mrs Ryan’s left kidney was put in her husband’s right side. When Mrs Ryan woke up after the operation,  counsel said, she was told there had been difficulties and it came “ as a complete shock and caused immediate anxiety."

“Denise felt a part of her died. She was concerned her husband was going to die.

"She felt she had let him down. She thought her kidney was going to live on in her husband, " counsel said.

Four years on, he said, the Ryan’s are still at a loss to know exactly why the transplant failed.

He said his side contended the procedure should not have failed as there were no contra indications .

Mr Ryan he said underwent two unnecessary procedures and the case will examine the positioning of the kidney in Mr Ryan.

In evidence, Mr Ryan said when he woke up after the first transplant from his wife, he was told that the kidney was anything but good to go and they had spent two hours and did their best.

He said his wife was devastated and upset, but after the second transplant he felt good and described the feeling like “a foal racing away in a field."

He said his wife felt she had failed but he felt she “got the ball rolling.”

He said he never got an explanation after the failed transplant. There was a meeting, and they were told it could be a number of things .

The case before Mr Justice Kevin Cross continues on Tuesday.

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