Cyclist hit by bus had cancer - inquest
CHEMOTHERAPY TREATMENT was halted for a man who was left paralysed when he was struck by a double decker bus, an inquest heard yesterday.
Patrick Duffy (48) from Hollytree Square in Ballymun, Dublin 11, died on January 5th, 2009, six months after the incident as a result of complications from colon cancer that pre-existed his paralysis.
Dublin Coroner’s Court heard that Mr Duffy was cycling into town to attend Mass on July 31st, 2008, and had stopped in the cycle lane outside Glasnevin Cemetery to put on a rain cape when he was struck by the Bus Éireann vehicle.
Driver Alison Rooney said that she had moved out to go around him when she heard an impact and immediately stopped.
Mr Duffy was lying on the footpath with the bike between his legs and was bleeding from the back of the head.
He was taken to the Mater hospital, where he remained in a coma until mid-October. He was left paralysed from the chest down.
The deceased had been undergoing chemotherapy for terminal colon cancer but scans taken nine days before the incident showed that it was no longer working.
Consultant oncologist Dr Liam Grogan said Mr Duffy would have been offered an alternative chemotherapy strategy.
However, treatment was effectively suspended following the road incident. The chances of him benefiting significantly would have been small, he said.
Mr Duffy was transferred to St Francis Hospice in Raheny, where he later died from double pneumonia developed as a complication of spreading cancer.
The head injuries sustained in the incident were considered a co-morbidity but not directly responsible for the Mr Duffy’s death.
A prosecution was launched following the incident. However, the matter was dismissed on reaching court.
Speaking from the body of the court, Vanessa Duffy said that her brother had been left a “vegetable” by the incident and that the family felt no one had been held accountable.
“He had no quality of life from the day he was admitted so it was nearly the same as death,” she said.
Ms Rooney apologised to the family. “It never goes away, and it never will go away and I am sorry,” she said. The jury returned a narrative verdict outlining the facts.