Friday 23 February 2018

'What happened to Mrs Thawley and why did she die?'

Calls for "more transparency" in internal Holles St investigation after pregnant woman died in emergency surgery

Malak Kuzbary Thawley and her husband Alan
Malak Kuzbary Thawley and her husband Alan

Louise Kelly & Eilish O'Regan

The solicitor of the man who is mourning the loss of his wife at the National Maternity Hospital expects the investigation into the pregnant woman's death to last up to 50 days.

Malak Kuzbary Thawley (34) who was living with her American husband Alan Thawley in Dublin, passed away while undergoing emergency surgery at Holles Street earlier this month.

Mr Thawley's solicitor Caoimhe Haughey said she "is not entirely satisfied" with the investigation team looking into the death of his wife.

The National Maternity Hospital have indicated that their investigation will take between 40 and 50 days," she told Newstalk Breakfast this morning.

"I'm not entirely satisfied with panel of obstetricians who are reviewing the case, which is made up of doctors from Holles Street and only one external member."

Ms Haughey said she would prefer more external members involved in the internal investigation "to ensure transparency".

However, she said that "it wouldn't be anyone interest to prejudge what the facts are in this case - I think this will be an evolving process".

"The questions we need to be asking now are: what happened to Ms Thawley and why did she die?," said Ms Haughey. 

Ms Thawley, a teacher from Syria, was in the very early stages of pregnancy when she discovered her pregnancy was ectopic after attending a private scan.

She was advised to attend the National Maternity Hospital to be rescanned which and had the ectopic pregnancy confirmed.

The National Maternity Hospital, Holles Street. Photo: Damien Eagers
The National Maternity Hospital, Holles Street. Photo: Damien Eagers

An ectopic pregnancy can be life-threatening if the fallopian tube has split. It is necessary to repair the tube as soon as possible.

"She was advised she needed emergency surgery and she was prepped for that...she was declared dead at 8pm that evening," Ms Haughey said.

Medical reports show that Ms Thawley suffered a vascular injury in the course of the surgery on May 8.

Distraught Alan Thawley has returned to the United States to be "in the care of family and friends at the moment".

Ms Haughey said it was very difficult for him not to have this support following the death of his wife who was cremated as part of a "beautiful service" .

However, she  said that Mr Thawley had received great support from staff at AIMS Ireland, a group that lobbies for improved maternity services.

The hospital has confirmed that it had set up an internal investigation into the tragedy.

A spokesman said: "Every maternal death is a deeply tragic event and as always our thoughts are with the loved ones of the deceased. As with all maternal deaths this case is subject to the coroner's process and the hospital is unable to make any comment."

Irish Independent

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