Wednesday 22 November 2017

Parents of injured twin babies too upset for garda interviews

Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

THE parents of infant twin boys were too distraught yesterday to give gardai a full account of how their sons sustained serious head injuries.

One of the three-month-old twins is fighting for his life in a Dublin hospital while the second remains in a stable condition in a Cork hospital.

The Irish Independent understands that gardai have had preliminary contact with the twins' father and teenage mother.

However, both were so distraught over their sons' health that a detailed interview had to be postponed pending an update on the boys' medical condition.

Gardai now hope to take detailed statements from both parents over the coming days.

Detectives also plan to consult with paediatric trauma specialists over how the infants could have sustained their specific head and chest injuries.

The couple -- a 19-year-old woman and her 20-year old partner -- come from a large extended family in a rural part of Cork.

The family declined to comment on the matter yesterday at their dormer bungalow home.

Several members of the family have travelled to Dublin to maintain a vigil for the most seriously injured twin.

The twin who is in a critical condition in Dublin's Temple Street Hospital had to be transferred from Cork, where the two boys first presented for medical treatment.

The boys were taken separately to Cork University Hospital (CUH) on Sunday, January 9, where they were initially treated in the emergency department.

One twin was admitted at 4am after being brought to hospital by ambulance.

The other was presented for treatment shortly before lunchtime later that day.

Both infants were assessed by CUH doctors but the first twin was in such a serious condition he was immediately transferred for specialist paediatric care to Temple Street.


The boy was diagnosed with a number of serious bleeds on his brain.

Surgeons have since attempted to deal with the haemorrhage and the little boy has been battling to recover for the past eight days.

The boy also had injuries to his torso and doctors are trying to confirm whether he may have sustained broken ribs.

His brother was being treated for similar injuries. However, his condition is not as serious and he remains under treatment in CUH.

In accordance with existing protocol, gardai were immediately notified of the matter by healthcare staff.

A spokesperson for the Health Service Executive (HSE) indicated it will not be commenting on the matter.

Detectives are now liaising with doctors over the incident and precisely how the two infants could have sustained such serious injuries.

One garda source stressed that the nature of their inquiry will only be determined once the medical reports on the specific injuries involved are received from paediatric and trauma specialists.

"The reports will be central to everything," he said.

The reports are being compiled by the physicians directly involved in treating the twins -- and by paediatric and emergency department specialists.

It is unclear last night whether the boys had been involved in any type of accident before January 9.

The couple had been living with their extended family in a house in an isolated and rural part of Co Cork. They have been together for the past two years and had just celebrated their first Christmas with their sons.

Irish Independent

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