Tuesday 25 October 2016

Hospital sorry over death of 'healthy, beautiful wife' after 'simple' procedure

Widower Alan Thawley
Widower Alan Thawley

The husband of an expectant mum who died following a "simple procedure" has received an apology from the National Maternity Hospital.

Alan Thawley has revealed his grief following the tragic death of his young wife Malak in Holles Street hospital in May.

"My wife, my pregnant wife, my best friend died. This perfectly healthy beautiful women just died. No warning," he said.

His comments come after a report criticised the standard of care the American woman received when diagnosed with an ectopic pregnancy.

Ms Thawley (34) died during an emergency keyhole operation at the hospital after she was diagnosed.

A grieving Mr Thawley last night said the couple had decided to have children here because they loved the country so much.

The internal hospital report found one of her main blood vessels was accidentally torn during the procedure.

It discovered there was a lack of experience in recognising and managing the tear, which is a "rare event."

And there was also inadequate communication between the medical team and a delay in decision making.

It meant that valuable time was lost in responding to the emergency and resuscitation of the patient.


Ms Thawley was in the early stages of pregnancy when a private scan on Sunday, May 8 discovered it was ectopic which meant the baby, who had a heartbeat, was developing outside the womb and putting her at risk.

Mr Thawley said that on the day she died, he was reassured the surgery was a simple procedure and that it would take just 45 minutes - but he endured hours of torment as doctors fought to save her.

"I was told by hospital staff to relax. You will be seeing her in 45 minutes." But he never saw his wife alive again.

Speaking for the first time since his wife died, Mr Thawley recalled getting "cryptic messages" from anxious nurses who tried to reassure him during the frantic attempt to save her life.

Mr Thawley, who is supported by his solicitor, Caoimhe Haughey - who has taken strong issue with the hospital over the disclosure of documents - revealed he is battling to cope without his wife since losing her.

The hospital has profoundly apologised to the family of Ms Thawley and vowed to follow up on the recommendations of the report.


The report calls for a full review of how keyhole surgery is performed at the hospital.

It also recommended that an education programme be implemented for staff on the recognition of an acutely collapsed patient under anaesthesia.

A spokesman for Holles Street said last night a coroner's inquest is expected to begin into the case of Ms Thawley soon.

It will allow "the facts of this tragic case to be examined in public."

"Our thoughts are first and foremost with the family and friends of the woman who has died," the spokesman added.

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