Mother says ‘Ireland no country to have a disabled child’ in as case over son’s birth settled
Posted on 23rd June 2022 at 21:57
High Court approves interim €4m payment for Ben Corry over care provided at Portiuncula Hospital in Galway in 2005
The mother of a teenager, who has settled an interim High Court action over the circumstances of his birth at Portiuncula Hospital in Galway, has said Ireland “is no country to have a disabled child” in.
Ben Corry, through his mother Assumpta Corry of Carn, Moyleen, Loughrea, Co Galway, sued the HSE over his care and treatment at the time of his birth in September 2005 and settled the case with an interim payout of €4 million for the next five years. The settlement was without admission of liability.
It was alleged that Ms Corry’s labour was incompetently managed and that there was a failure to intervene and proceed to Caesarean section. As a result of the defendant’s alleged negligence, it was claimed that Ben was exposed to an unnecessarily prolonged period of birth asphyxia. He subsequently developed hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy, a type of brain damage, it was claimed. The claims were denied.
The court heard Ben has significant needs and requires supervision at all times. Ms Corry had to take a five-year career break following his birth and returned to work in 2010 on a part-time basis only. Ben attended special schools and required various therapies growing up and remains under the care of a number of specialists with his substantial care requirements ongoing.
Ms Corry told the court that “Ireland is no country to have a disabled child”. She said she had to fight for even the most basic essentials for her son who has autism, ADHD, cognitive delay and behavioural issues. She said her family has struggled and the settlement of the legal action will mean Ben can now get the care he needs.
Ben cannot speak, she said. “I have waited for 17 years for him to say Mum and Dad but he can’t say it.”
Ms Corry said things could not have been made harder for the family. She said she knew her son was not reaching his milestones and development. “I felt I was ignored, I knew something was wrong,” she said.
Ben, she said, has had to live “like a prisoner in his own house” as they have to keep the windows and door locked.
“We love Ben, he is our flesh and blood. I feel so sorry for anybody who has a disabled child in this country.”
Ben’s counsel, Dr John O’Mahony SC, with Doireann O’Mahony BL instructed by Vincent Toher solicitors, told the court it was their case that during the delivery Ben was gasping for oxygen and he inhaled meconium which, counsel said, is a highly toxic substance. His mother, counsel said, thought her baby was dead as he looked flat and grey on delivery.
Approving the settlement, Mr Justice Paul Coffey said it was a very sad case and he praised Ben’s parents for what they have done for their son.
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