Wednesday 24 January 2018

Doctor said he'd keep my ill son alive, mum tells court

Gordon Deegan

THE mother of a terminally ill teenager told a court that Dr Paschal Carmody promised him he would cure his cancer, or at worst keep him alive.

At Ennis Circuit Court yesterday, Christina O'Sullivan said her son Conor (15) was given six months to live by consultant oncologist Dr Finn Breathnach on June 27, 2002.

Conor suffered from a rare form of bone-cancer, Ewings sarcoma.

Dr Breathnach told the couple there was no further treatment for the cancer as it was then third stage and a spot had appeared on Conor's skull.

A tearful Mrs O'Sullivan said they never told Conor the stark news.

She said: "Conor had his suspicions because he knew Derek (her husband) was crying but we never told him."

Mrs O'Sullivan said she and her husband Derek travelled to Dr Carmody's east Clare clinic with Conor on July 9 that year.

Dr Carmody (64) denies defrauding family members of two cancer patients of €16,554 at the clinic in Killaloe in 2001 and 2002.


Mrs O' Sullivan said that they travelled to the clinic after meeting a patient of Dr Carmody's, Mark Hadden, who suffered from liver cancer.

She said that Mr Hadden was given three months to live and was still alive six years later.

Mrs O'Sullivan from Granite Lodge, Gorey, told the court that at the consultation with Dr Carmody, he told her that photodynamic therapy (PDT) was suitable for the form of cancer Conor had.

She said that "Dr Carmody put his arm on Conor and told him: 'I'll cure your cancer and at the worst, if I don't cure you of cancer, I'll keep you alive.'

But she told the jury that large hives started to appear on Conor's skin while he received the PDT treatment.

Conor died on November 13, 2002.

Dr Carmody denies seven deception charges totalling €9,610 in relation to defrauding parents Derek and Christina O'Sullivan between July and October 2002.

Dr Carmody also denies obtaining by deception €6,944 from John Sheridan (58), of Kells, Co Kilkenny, in November 2001 through the administration of the therapy.

Denis Vaughan Buckley, prosecuting, said cancer expert Prof Frank Sullivan would tell the court that PDT treatment was only suitable for certain surface tumours.

The trial continues.

Irish Independent

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