Wednesday 24 January 2018

I never gave consent – I woke up and couldn't move my legs

Symphisiotomy survivor Marie Crean, Ashford, Co Wicklow. Picture: Garry O'Neill
Symphisiotomy survivor Marie Crean, Ashford, Co Wicklow. Picture: Garry O'Neill
Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

IT is 42 years since Marie Crean underwent a symphysiotomy but she can still remember the pain of waking up after the barbaric procedure and feeling like her legs had been broken.

Marie (67) was having her second child, Anthony and was told she was being brought to theatre for a procedure.

She claimed she never gave her consent for the procedure. "When I woke up I could not move my legs," said the mother-of-three from Ashford in Wicklow.

The offer of €50,000 under the proposed redress scheme would hardly cover her bus fares for the last 13 years travelling to meetings of the Survivors of Symphysiotomy (SOS) support group, she said.

"I walk with difficulty. I get terrible pains in my side and in my hip. My back kills me and I suffer incontinence," she said.

She was never told of the risks involved and her medical notes said the procedure which widens the pelvis was due to her having a large baby.

"I could not talk to other mothers who had babies at the same time. They were all fine and pain-free. I could hardly walk or push the pram."

She was particularly upset by the manner of yesterday's "rush job" where the support group was just given around two hours notice that the scheme was being announced and a meeting was being held with Health Minister James Reilly.

"We have members all over the country who would have liked to have been there. The government is also insisting there will be no apology. That is a disgrace."

Marie has lodged legal proceedings in the High Court and said she will give consideration to the redress scheme at the SOS meeting.

The Department of Health commissioned report on symphysiotomy by Judge Yvonne Murphy, which was published yesterday, said some of the complications suffered by women included chronic fatigue, difficulty walking, limited mobility, depression and spinal injuries. Others suffered severe sexual dysfunction and reproductive loss.

Irish Independent

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