THE mother of an 18-year old woman with cerebral palsy, who sued over the circumstances of her birth at Waterford Regional Hospital, is delighted her daughter has received justice after reaching a settlement in a High Court action for €8.4m.
Through her mother Jean Conway, Ciara Ormond, from Ursuline Crescent, sued the HSE over the circumstances of her birth on November 5, 2000 at Waterford Regional Hospital.
The young woman has spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy and has to use a wheelchair. On Wednesday last, the settlement was made without a full admission of liability.
Giving her reaction to the Waterford News & Star, Jean said: “I’m delighted to get justice for Ciara. It’s been a long time coming. What the HSE have put me through the last week is unforgivable, but I’m glad I got what Ciara deserved. It’s been a very long road for me, Ciara and my son Cillian.”
It was an emotional week for the family as along with the High Court proceedings, Jean got married to her husband Mark in Italy on Tuesday last.
Regarding her daughter, Jean said: “Ciara is loved very much by us and her extended family. She is a great character who is always upbeat and cheerful despite her difficulties.
“Her future is secure now and Ciara can access everything she needs which was a struggle previously. We can build a house especially adapted for Ciara and all money awarded can pay for therapies and Ciara’s future care. She deserves it all and more.”
Jean thanked her mam Teresa and her late dad Noel Colfer and her brothers Alan, David and Neil and her sister Miriam for all their support over the years. “It hadn’t been easy, but my husband Mark has had my back all the way. I couldn’t have done it without him. My close friends have also been a rock.”
The Irish Times published a statement by read by solicitor Joice Carthy on the family’s behalf. It read: “No amount of money will give Ciara back what she has lost out on, and will continue to lose out on in the future. Ciara will need round the clock care and numerous therapies such as speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, physiotherapy and many others.”
The statement added: “We are relieved that Ciara’s case has settled today. It has however been a very difficult battle and we feel it is unfortunate that Ciara’s case was brought this far and only settled at such a late stage. As a family, we would have found it far less stressful and upsetting if it had been resolved sooner.”
According to The Irish Times, during the action that there was an alleged failure to properly manage and monitor Ciara’s labour, delivery and birth.
It was further claimed there was an alleged failure to ensure continued and careful monitoring of the condition of the baby and her mother during labour, including careful monitoring and recording of foetal heart rate.
It was also claimed there were alleged unreasonable gaps in the monitoring of the baby and her mother including an alleged lack of monitoring between 12.10pm and 1.35pm on November 5, 2000.
It was alleged that monitoring was discontinued for one hour and 25 minutes and there was an alleged failure to intervene and deliver the baby in an appropriate prompt and timely manner.
The HSE denied the claims and settled without admission of liability.