Tuesday 18 June 2019

Couple sue hospital over failed kidney transplant

Denise and Pat Ryan, from Clonmel, Co Tipperary, at the High Court. Photo: Courtpix
Denise and Pat Ryan, from Clonmel, Co Tipperary, at the High Court. Photo: Courtpix

Tim Healy

A couple have launched a High Court action against Dublin's Beaumont Hospital over a failed kidney transplant.

Denise Ryan donated a kidney to her husband Pat, who was 22 months on the transplant waiting list.

The transplant failed and he had to have another transplant from a deceased donor days later, the court was told. This operation was successful.

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

Her husband (56), who ended up having three operations instead of one, told the court he was very grateful for the second transplant.

However, he said it had left his wife devastated.

"It was a huge blow to her 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 after Ms Ryan's kidney was removed and transplanted to her husband at the hospital on January 20, 2014.

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

It is claimed on Ms 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.

Counsel said that Ms Ryan was a suitable match.

He added that a living donation is a routine procedure, but one of the disadvantages is the loss of the kidney for a donor if the transplant is not a success.

"Transplant failure can leave the donor suffering psychological injury," counsel said.

When Ms Ryan woke up after the operation, 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," counsel said.

"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 Ryans were still at a loss to know exactly why the transplant failed. He said his side contended the procedure should not have failed because there were no contrary indications.

The case before Mr Justice Kevin Cross continues on Tuesday.

Irish Independent

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