Couple withdraw case over failed kidney transplant

Tipperary couple had sued Beaumont Hospital over transplant from wife to husband

A Tipperary couple who sued Beaumont Hospital over a failed kidney transplant from the wife to her husband have withdrawn their actions against the hospital.

Denise Ryan donated a kidney to her husband Pat, who was 22 months on the transplant waiting list, but that transplant failed. Just days later, he had another transplant from a deceased donor which was successful. The couple had sued over the first failed transplant.

On the second day of the case on Tuesday, Mr Justice Kevin Cross was told the case "had been compromised on terms" and could be struck out. The development came after several hours of talks between the sides.

Jeremy Maher SC, for the couple, said the second successful transplant arose from tragic circumstances for another family. Counsel said the Ryans wanted to say they will continue to be deeply indebted to the family of the deceased donor.


Mr Justice Cross said he was happy the proceedings had been settled and it was a difficult case .

Pat and Denise Ryan, Ballypatrick, Clonmel, Co Tipperary sued Beaumont Hospital Board over their care when Mrs Ryan’s kidney was placed in her husband in a transplant operation at Beaumont Hospital, Dublin on January 20th, 2014.

It was claimed Mr Ryan was provided with an organ which was not effective and underwent mental distress and an alleged unnecessary and failed operation. It was claimed on Mrs Ryan's behalf, following the operation, she was advised the transplant did not go well and an alleged mismatch in size of the kidney was at issue. It is claimed she became depressed and suffered grief for the loss of an organ.

The claims were denied.

Mrs Ryan (51) had claimed she now suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, is without a second kidney and had expected her kidney to live on in her husband.

Her husband Pat (56) had told the court he was very grateful for the second transplant but his wife was devastated.

“It was a huge blow to her I had another person’s kidney in me,” he said.

Opening the case last week, Mr Maher said a living donation is a routine procedure but the disadvantages include the loss of the kidney for a donor and the effects of failure if the transplant is not a success.

“Transplant failure can leave the donor suffering psychological injury. It has happened in this case with devastating consequences for the Ryans,” counsel said.

Mrs Ryan’s left kidney was put in her husband’s right side When Mrs Ryan woke up, after the operation, she was told there had been difficulties and it came “as a complete shock and caused immediate anxiety”.

“Denise felt a part of her died. She was concerned her husband was going to die. She felt she had let him down. She thought her kidney was going to live on in her husband,” counsel said.

Mary Carolan

Mary Carolan

Mary Carolan is the Legal Affairs Correspondent of the Irish Times