Thursday 22 August 2019

Mum tells of battle after €10m settlement for 'locked-in' son

Eoin O’Mahony from Cork, who was awarded a final payment of €10m after developing ‘locked-in’ syndrome
Eoin O’Mahony from Cork, who was awarded a final payment of €10m after developing ‘locked-in’ syndrome

Tim Healy

A mother has told of the "enormous strain" her family endured in fighting a case for their brain-damaged son.

It followed the High Court's approval yesterday of a €10m lump-sum payment in final settlement of Eoin O'Mahony's action against the HSE.

Eoin (32) has "locked-in syndrome" - a coma-like state which has left him quadriplegic - following an operation at Cork University Hospital (CUH).

The award by Mr Justice Michael Moriarty for the future care needs of Mr O'Mahony, from Blarney, Co Cork, brings to €14.1m the total monies paid out in settlement of his action against the HSE. It is amongst the largest payouts for a personal injury claim.

Mr O'Mahony was a 17-year-old Leaving Certificate student in November 2001, when he had headaches and was admitted to CUH where he underwent brain surgery. After the surgery, he lapsed into a coma-like state with devastating brain injuries.

The court heard he cannot even use his finger to press a button if he needs help and essentially suffers from locked-in syndrome.

Five years ago, he settled his High Court action against the HSE, which conceded liability, on terms including an interim payment of €2.9m.

Outside court, his mother Karen O'Mahony said the stance taken by the State and the HSE put enormous stress on the family both financially and emotionally "when we were at our weakest, consumed with the 24-hour care of Eoin".

She and her husband Edmund had "battled in Eoin's interest against the might of the State and the HSE through three High Court trials".

Mrs O'Mahony said it was "time for candour and honesty to prevail" and for these "tragic cases to be dealt with promptly...and sympathetically by the State".

Irish Independent

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