Michael Kivlehan: ‘I don’t feel angry – it has gone past anger. I have got answers’

Dhara Kivlehan’s husband to set up foundation for bereaved parents who lose a partner

Dhara Kivlehan’s husband  Michael says he feels no anger towards hospital staff over her death. Photograph: PA

Dhara Kivlehan’s husband Michael says he feels no anger towards hospital staff over her death. Photograph: PA

 

Dhara Kivlehan’s husband, Michael, said yesterday he felt no anger towards staff at Sligo Regional Hospital.

Following the long-awaited inquest into his wife Dhara’s death, he says the focus should be on learning lessons from what happened.

As well as calling on the health authorities to immediately implement the jury’s recommendations, he also wants to set up a foundation to support other bereaved parents.

“I want to establish a foundation to help people who are going through what I went through,” he said. “It won’t be just for men, but it will be for men and women who suddenly lose their partner and don’t know where to turn.”

Counselling

He said the foundation would provide everything from practical help in the home to legal advice and counselling.

“I suddenly was a lone parent trying to care for a child while I was grieving,” said Mr Kivlehan. “I did not know where to turn. There were lots of different places I could go for different things but what I needed was a one-stop shop.”

He said that while his parents had been a constant support, too often grandparents were expected to shoulder a heavy burden when such a catastrophic event devastated a family.

“I also think men have to take more of the burden of responsibility when their wives are expecting and maybe need someone in the hospital to ask questions if they are worried.”

Tragedy

He says his experience might help other people who want to talk to someone who has been through the same tragedy.

“I don’t feel angry – it has gone past anger now. I have got answers. Maybe I should not have had to wait for a public forum to get them, but I feel a bit more enlightened now and I don’t feel anger towards staff in Sligo hospital.

“I do want to know that all the lessons have been learned and that, for example, when blood tests are done in a hospital the results will literally flash red on a computer if there is something to be concerned about.

“That should be there for all patients – not just in the case of pregnancy.”