A former student, who suffers severe spasticity of the limbs and has eye movement problems allegedly due to the negligence of a Galway hospital, has had his brain tumour delayed diagnosis claim heard in court.
Seamus Walshe Jnr (27) of Taylor´s Hill, Galway, was a 21-year-old student studying construction studies when he first began suffering problems with his eyes in 2006 whenever he looked upwards. His symptoms worsened to the point where upward eye movement left him feeling nauseous and he would start to vomit.
Seamus went to Galway University Hospital with his problems, but was told after a neurological examination that there was nothing seriously wrong with him and he should get used to having problems with his eyes.
Seamus went back to Galway University Hospital later in the year when he started to develop pains in his head and underwent a scan which revealed a brain tumour. He was sent to Dublin´s Beaumont Hospital where he underwent surgery to remove the tumour in May 2007.
However, complication during the brain tumour procedure resulted in severe haemorrhaging around the brain and Seamus was kept in intensive care for nine weeks following surgery. When he began to recover, he was transferred back to Galway University Hospital in November 2007.
Ms Justice Mary Irvine at the High Court was told that in September 2008 Seamus was sent to the National Rehabilitation Centre in Dún Laoghaire but, because of the alleged negligent treatment he had received, was confined to a wheelchair with spasticity of the limbs and had problems moving his eyes.
Seamus filed a compensation claim for the delayed diagnosis of his brain tumour through his father, Seamus Snr, claiming that had he had a scan when he first attended the Galway University Hospital, the tumour would have been diagnosed earlier and he would have been referred to the Beaumont Hospital sooner.
A second claim was filed against the Beaumont Hospital for choosing to perform brain surgery when treatment with chemotherapy and radiotherapy had resulted in long term survival rates of up to 90 percent.
Both the Health Service Executive – on behalf of Galway University Hospital – and the Beaumont Hospital did not accept their liability for Seamus´ injury, but Ms Justice Mary Irvine was told that a negotiated settlement of 2.5 million Euros in compensation for the delayed diagnosis of a brain tumour had been agreed without admission of liability.
The settlement of compensation is hoped to provide Seamus with the care he needs for the next three years, after which time a structured periodic payment system would provide for his future care if legislation was passed by the Government in time to allow such a payment procedure.