The HSE and Sligo University Hospital have apologised in the High Court to the family of a five-year-old girl with cerebral palsy who sued over the circumstances of her birth.
The apology was read as Megan McGoldrick from Sligo secured an interim payment of €2.5 millon for her care over the next three years.
Megan has dyskinetic cerebral palsy and is unable to communicate verbally, Mr Justice Kevin Cross was told. She is a happy little girl, it was stated.
The apology from the Sligo hospital manager said both the HSE and the hospital wish to sincerely apologise to the McGoldrick family for the “negligent care and management” during Andrea McGoldrick’s labour and the delivery on November 28th, 2015.
“We acknowledge the catastrophic injuries caused to Megan as a result of the deficits in care, which have had, and will continue to have a devastating and lasting effect on Megan and your family,” it said.
“We appreciate this apology will not change the outcome for Megan and your family and for this we are deeply sorry.”
Outside court, Megan’s father John McGoldrick said the interim settlement will allow the family put in place the vital services and accommodation required to care for his daughter into the future.
He said it was “regrettable” to note in the letter of apology there was no mention of any lessons learned from “ the disastrous outcome of Megan’s birth.”
He pleaded with those “in positions of influence to review policies and procedures” in the hope it may prevent similar outcomes.
Mr McGoldrick said his daughter is a bright, determined and fun-loving girl who is adored by her older sister and her extended family.
‘Source of strength’
“Megan’s fight and determination are a constant source of strength for us a family .Our role as parents is to love protect and motivate and encourage Megan to reach her potential. Megan’s chance to live an independent life was cruelly taken away from her on her birth,” he added.
He said they were thankful to the surgical paediatric staff who saved Megan’s life on the day of her birth and to all who have contributed to her care over the last number of years.
Megan, of Ballintogher, Co Sligo, had through her mother sued the HSE over the circumstances of her birth at Sligo University Hospital.
In an affidavit, Mrs McGoldrick said she had a caesarean section with her first child. She went into labour with Megan in the early hours of November 28th, 2015.
Syntocinon infusion, which enhances labour, was later advised which she claimed is a risk factor for rupture in a woman with a prior caesarean section. A decision for an emergency caesarean section was made she said at 5.17pm and Megan was born at 5.35pm.
Mrs McGoldrick said at this stage said she had suffered a complete uterine rupture. Megan she said was born in a very poor condition having suffered hypoxia and she developed hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy.
There was it was claimed a failure to have due regard Mrs McGoldrick’s medical history and associated risks. There was also it was claimed a failure to have regard to worrying abnormalities on the CTG trace from 4pm and a delay on a decision for caesarean section until 5.17pm.
Mr Justice Cross was told liability was admitted in the case.
Approving the interim settlement, Mr Justice Cross congratulated the McGoldricks for the care they have given Megan and he hoped the settlement will mean they can now concentrate on their role as parents, not just as carers.