Mayo student’s parents raise questions over circumstances surrounding death

Sally Maaz was admitted to Covid-19 ward although parents claim she tested negative

Sally Maaz was born with a congenital heart defect

Sally Maaz was born with a congenital heart defect


The parents of a 17- year-old Leaving Certificate student have raised questions over the circumstances surrounding her death at Mayo University Hospital on April 24th.

Abdullah and Rula Maaz say their daughter Sally, who was born with a congenital heart defect, was admitted to the hospital’s Covid-19 ward 10 days before she died.

The couple, part of the extensive Syrian community in Ballyhaunis, say she was admitted to the Covid-19 ward although, they claim, she had tested negative for coronavirus. However, according to Ibrahim Rahmani, Sally’s first cousin, she tested positive before she died.

The parents and wider family were interviewed by The Connaught Telegraph at the weekend, and said they have “serious concerns” over Sally’s treatment during the five days (April 14th-April 19th) when they could not visit her.

They described Sally, a student at Ballyhaunis Community School, as “a fighter” and “strong” who had suffered with medical complications all her life. Her parents brought her to the emergency department on April 14th after she developed severe back pain and respiratory problems .

Ibrahim Rahmani told the newspaper:“Sally had tested negative. She tested positive just four days before she died.”

The family say they have a number of questions they want answered in respect of the treatment she received.

They stressed they “appreciate the hard work of doctors and nurses and the pressure they are under but, at the same time, they have concerns about Sally’s care”.

The Maaz family say they want Sally’s story publicised as they are “very concerned” about people being admitted to hospital in the present Covid situation.

Asked about the case at the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) briefing on Wednesday , Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan said he could not comment on individual cases.

However, in a general sense, he said that policy “is clearly to limit the spread of this infection by separating, as much as can reasonably happen, patients who are known to have Covid from patients who may not have Covid”.

Mayo University Hospital and the HSE Saolta Hospital Group were contacted by The Connaught Telegraph on the issues raised by the Maaz family but no statement had been forthcoming at the time of the paper going to press.