Two cases over woman’s care at Kerry General Hospital settled

Mother and partner of Rosa Gonzalez Valesco (28) claimed failure to detect rare cancer

 

The mother and partner of a young woman who died in the State six years ago have settled High Court actions over the care she received at Kerry General Hospital.

Rosa Gonzalez Valesco (28), a tatoo artist, died after it was claimed there was failure to diagnose and treat her rare cancer on a timely basis when she sought help for a swelling on her jaw.

In the actions, it was claimed Ms Gonzalez Valesco died six weeks after she first sought help at Kerry General Hospital emergency department on October 31st, 2013. The claims were denied by the HSE.

Oonah McCrann SC, for the plaitiffs, said contended that the woman’s cancer was misinterpreted and, had it been diagnosed in a timely manner, she could have had chemotherapy immediately. This would have altered her prognosis to five years or may have been curative, she said.

She said the family felt reassured by a diagnosis of suspected Tuberculosis and did not rush to Ms Gonzalez Valesco’s bedside and, as a result, they felt they lost out on precious time with her.

One action was taken by the deceased’s partner of six years, Cristina Garcia Garcia, who had sued for nervous shock over her death. The second was by Rosa’s mother, Isabel Velasco Cobaleda, from Seville, who sued over the circumstances of her daughter’s care at the hospital.

Confidential

The terms of settlement are confidential and the cases were struck out.

Ms Gonzalez Valesco attended a GP in late September 2013 complaining of swelling in her left jaw and antibiotics were prescribed. She suffered continuous swelling and attended the Kerry hospital’s emergency department where she had an ultrasound and chest x-ray.

She later had a CT scan which identified lung lesions and, after a later biopsy, TB was suspected. In November 2013, she was told she would need to undergo further investigations and, on December 2nd, 2013, she had a Mantoux test which was negative for TB.

Her condition worsened and she was transferred to a Cork hospital. She remained in isolation until it was decided on December 12th, 2013 that she did not have TB. She continued to deteriorate and suffered three cardiac arrests on December 16th, 2013. It was claimed she died due to a rare cancer, advanced widespread histiocytic sarcoma.

Approving the settlements, Mr Justice Kevin Cross offered his sympathies to the family on the death of Ms Gonzalez Velasco.

In a statement outside court, both plaintiffs said they were glad there was a successful outcome to the proceedings.

“It is a pity it has taken so long. We would hope the Irish health system will communicate better with families of ill patients in the future,” they said.