Screams of brothers being told sister died will ‘haunt’ family forever

HSE apologises for breach of care to child (2½) who died in grounds of Limerick hospital

The brothers of Aimee Keogh, who died on the grounds of University Hospital Limerick,  hold a framed picture of their sister.

The brothers of Aimee Keogh, who died on the grounds of University Hospital Limerick, hold a framed picture of their sister.


The HSE has apologised unreservedly for a breach in their duty of care to a 2½-year-old child who died on the grounds of University Hospital Limerick in 2014.

At Limerick Circuit Court on Tuesday barrister Michael Purtill, acting for the family of Aimee Keogh, read a letter sent to them by the HSE.

In it, UL Hospitals chief operations officer, Noreen Spillane said the HSE wanted to apologise unreservedly, for the “hurt, stress and upset on the tragic death” of Aimee.

“Regrettably, our investigation has shown that aspects of the care received by Aimee at the University Hospital Limerick did not reach the standards that could be expected,” it added.

Judge Eugene O’Kelly ordered the HSE make a statutory compensation payment to the Keogh family. What is known as a solatium payment of €35,000 goes to Aimee’s parents, her brothers, Ben and Luke, and her grandfather.

The judge also approved a further specified payment of more than €5,000 to Aimee’s mother.

In an emotional plea outside court, Aimee father James Keogh implored the Minister for Health, the Government and the Taoiseach to implement the recommendations made by University Hospital Limerick following its own internal investigation into the death of his daughter who he described as “our princess”.

Aimee died as a result of an undiagnosed hole in the heart, despite a consultant radiologist raising a concern of the possible heart defect up to four months before her death.

The little girl from Glenbrook, Old Singland Road in Limerick, died after she went into cardiac arrest in an ambulance on the grounds of University Hospital Limerick on July 10th, 2014 as she was being prepared for transfer to Crumlin children’s hospital in Dublin.

Following a previous admission to hospital in March 2014 for febrile convulsions caused by tonsillitis, consultant radiologist Padraig O’Brien said that after reading her X-ray, he was suspicious of a septal defect more commonly known as a hole between the chambers of the heart.

However, Aimee was never referred on to a paediatric cardiologist.

Mr Keogh said if hospitals around the country had quicker access to a paediatrician with a special interest in cardiology, “no family should have to go through the horrible and heartbreaking ordeal that my family suffered and continue to suffer each and every day.”

“On July 10th, 2014, our lives were shattered and changed forever. Aimee was our princess who had her whole life in front of her but sadly this was stolen from her, her parents and her two brothers,” her father said.

Describing the family’s last few moments with Aimee he added: “Whilst being transferred to the ambulance, Aimee became upset and stressed which brought on one of her seizures and she went into heart failure while clutching her little teddy.

“Telling our two little boys that their sister was not coming home was the hardest things we ever had to do as parents and their screams will haunt us forever”.