Further €900,000 payment approved for boy ‘defied all odds’ despite brain injury

Jack Hegarty (5) previously got an interim payment of €1.7m over treatment in hospital

Ms Justice Mary Irvine described the additional HSE offer of €900,000, to fund Jack Hegarty’s care until 2022 when his case will return to court, as excellent.

Ms Justice Mary Irvine described the additional HSE offer of €900,000, to fund Jack Hegarty’s care until 2022 when his case will return to court, as excellent.

 

The President of the High Court has approved an additional €900,000 payment under a settlement of an action by a boy said to have “defied all odds” despite suffering a brain injury after birth.

Jack Hegarty (5) previously got an interim payment of €1.7m and Ms Justice Mary Irvine described the additional HSE offer of €900,000, to fund his care until 2022 when his case will return to court, as “excellent”.

The payment will fund “very expensive” treatment, costing €64,000 a year, which the boy is currently undergoing in California where the family have relocated pending conclusion of the treatment in 2022, the judge noted.

When approving the €900,000 payment on Monday, the judge heard some €350,000 of the sum has already been paid on account.

Through his mother Jacinta Collins, Jack, of Ardbrack, Kinsale, Co Cork, had sued the HSE over his care after his birth at Cork University Maternity Hospital on December 10th, 2014.

Jack suffered a collapse when he was being breast fed after his delivery but his condition was not monitored as staff cared for his mother, the court was previously told.

The court was told a midwife was required to hold faulty lighting in place as a suturing procedure was carried out on Ms Collins and that a faulty mechanism in the bed, along with a malfunctioning stirrup holding Ms Collins’ leg, meant delay in the suturing procedure.

Ms Collins became concerned for the well-being of her baby and indicated those concerns to the midwife but was reassured all was well, it was stated.

When the suturing procedure was finished, the midwife realised the baby was in a state of collapse.

It was claimed there was failure to monitor the baby adequately or at all, particularly after his birth and up to the time of his collapse, and failure to provide equipment in working order.

Ms Collins told the court mistakes were made but she had no bad feeling towards the midwife.

When Jack was discharged from hospital, she and her partner Justin Hegarty were told their baby would be tetraplegic and might only live eight to 10 months but he has “defied all odds”, she said.

The court was told liability was admitted by the HSE in the case, that a report following an inquiry had highlighted deficiencies in the equipment and the HSE had apologised to the family.

In 2016, the action was settled on terms including an interim payment of €1.7m.

Jack was described as a “fantastic little boy” who had made great strides after undergoing a special therapy, the Anat Baniel method of neuro movement. It was said he will be able to walk and feed himself and has impressive cognitive function.

After the 2016 settlement, Ms Collins told reporters that what had happened to Jack was an “avoidable accident two hours after birth”.

The family were glad to see the hospital “has learned lessons from this and steps have been taken to prevent reoccurrence,” she said. He has “broken all boundaries” and the family has kept the focus on him, rather than blame, she added.