Cavan General Hospital.

Brain damaged shercock girl in 52m settlement

A 13-year-old Shercock girl who is severely brain damaged and cannot walk or talk has settled for €5.2m her High Court action for damages arising out of the injuries she allegedly sustained at her birth at Cavan General Hospital, reports RTE news.

Mr Justice Michael Moriarty said in all the medical negligence cases he had dealt with the case of Sarah Reilly is 'the most catastrophic'.

The judge praised Sarah's parents, Paul and Marie Reilly, and said their care and effort to enhance the quality of life for their daughter was 'nothing less than heroic'.

Sarah, the court heard, is severely ill, practically blind and can only feed through a tube and is quadriplegic.

Sarah, of Lisdrumskeagh, Shercock, had through her mother sued the HSE over alleged negligence at the time of her birth by elective Caesarean section on 31 July, 2001 at Cavan General.

The High Court was told yesterday the settlement of €4.75m and an earlier payment of €500,000 was without an admission of liability.

It was claimed that Mrs Reilly was admitted to Cavan General Hospital for a Caesarean section on 31 July 2001.

It was alleged the baby was exposed to the risk of damage or injury by the alleged administration before the C-Section of the drug Syntometrine, which is normally given after a delivery.

There was, it was claimed, a failure to recognise that Syntometrine should never be administered to a woman who is pregnant or in labour as its sole use in obstetric practice is to ensure contraction of the uterus once the baby has been delivered.

Senior Counsel Denis McCullough told the High Court the Reilly's case was that nothing else but the administration of Syntometrine beforehand explained what happened and a delivery which should have been so simple was so difficult.

He said it was 'a brutal and excessively traumatic delivery'.

He said during the delivery Mrs Reilly was asked to push and 'she felt she was being pulled apart'.

Counsel said generally a baby delivered by Caesarean is lifted but his side would contend it was a 'fairly brutal extraction'.

Outside court, Mrs Reilly said her daughter was 'one in a million' and their little angel.

'No amount of money will make up for what was done to us. Hopefully we will now be able to get everything she deserves, everything she needs. An apology would have been nice.'

'We have battled hard and long. There has been a lot of sickness, a lot of good times.

'Hopefully they will continue now, with a bit of help, and that this money will get us a bit more comfort,' she said.