‘I did not trust anybody at the hospital’

A woman told the High Court yesterday how, as her partner was dying of septic shock at Mercy University Hospital, Cork, her confidence in the care of the hospital had completely gone.

“I did not trust anybody. I thought if I was not there when he passed, nobody would have noticed,” Geraldine Barry told Mr Justice Anthony Barr.

Ms Barry was giving evidence in the second day of her case, where the Mercy has admitted liability in relation to the post-operative care of Chris Sayer, who died at the hospital in 2010.

Mr Justice Barr has to assess damages in the case.

In court yesterday, Oonagh McCrann, for the Mercy, said she had been instructed on behalf of the hospital to offer sincere condolences and an apology for the distress caused.

Ms Barry told the court how she had to have “a tantrum” in the middle of the ward so Mr Sayer would get the palliative care required.

“I had to make a fuss. Could I not just sit and be quiet with him?” she said, explaining that while Mr Sayer was transferred back from ICU to a ward to die, he was not referred for palliative care as it was the weekend.

At the outset of the case yesterday, David Holland told the court that the Mercy had agreed but for the admitted negligence on its part in relation to post-operative care, Mr Sayer would have had a normal life expectancy.

Ms Barry, aged 44, of Lakemarsh, Church Cross, Skibbereen, Co Cork, had sued Mercy University Hospital as a result of the death of her partner, Mr Sayer, aged 70, who died on April 19, 2010. Ms Barry’s claim is also for nervous shock.

Mr Sayer, who suffered from cancer, had a colon operation at the Mercy Hospital on March 11, 2010. He developed septic shock due to a leak and had to have further surgery on March 17, 2010.

Ms Barry said had the Mercy given its admission in relation to liability at the time of the inquest in 2010, it would have helped. “It would have taken a lot of extra weight off my shoulders,” she said.

The case continues.


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