Parents tell of pain at hearing son died alone on trolley

The parents of a man found dead on a trolley in an emergency department have spoken of their pain after hearing how he died alone never having seen a doctor.

Darragh Curley, 33, died at the Mid-West Regional Hospital on July 9, 2013. He was rushed there having taken an overdose of prescribed tablets.

An inquest on Wednesday heard he was left on a trolley in a corridor for over three hours and died without have being seen by a doctor.

In a statement, his parents, Limerick man, John Curley and his wife Eileen, said their “pain and incredulity” at what happened to Darragh was made all the more harrowing as they listened to witness after witness.

The statement, through their solicitor, continued: “They have found it difficult to believe and still cannot believe that it was their son, who as far as they were concerned wanted to be saved, who died alone in a hospital corridor never having seen a doctor.

“Darragh took an overdose of his prescribed tablets, but Darragh also immediately sought medical attention. It is the family’s belief this may have been a cry for help.

“They believe he did not want to die and all the evidence given supports that view. The family is an intensely private family and the last thing they want to do is to be in the centre of a controversy about a failing health system in Ireland at a time which is fundamentally a very private and traumatic period of time for them.

“However, they feel that it was important that Darragh’s story was told yesterday in the Irish Examiner. If nothing else, they would hope that by highlighting the inadequacies of the health system, to include significant overcrowding and a clear inability to deal with a seriously ill patient, that no other parent would have to go through what they have gone through. If that is the case, then Darragh’s will have meant something.”

A consultant told the inquest action to save him could have started earlier if “appropriate” & monitoring facilities were available.

Health Minister Leo Varadkar said: “I haven’t read the detail of that case yet and I’m loath to comment on it, but from the briefing I’ve had, they’re not quite the full facts.”


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