Wednesday 13 December 2017

Hospital says sorry over op that cost man his voice box

Kevin McMahon sued the HSE (Courtpix)
Kevin McMahon sued the HSE (Courtpix)

A hospital has apologised in the High Court to a man who sued after his voice box was removed in an unnecessary operation five years ago.

Kevin McMahon (63) has no natural voice and can only speak through an artificial voice box, the court heard.

The grandfather and father of four sued the HSE over his diagnosis, treatment, management and care and an operation where his larynx was removed at the Mid-Western Regional Hospital, Limerick, in January 2011.

Liability was admitted this week and the case is now before the court for assessment of damages only.


Emily Egan SC said yesterday, she wished to extend sincere apologies on behalf of the HSE for the delay in treatment and the resulting consequences for Mr McMahon, a truck driver from Glasgow Park, Roxboro, Limerick.

He has also sued in relation to a three-month delay in a second biopsy of his vocal cord ordered by a surgeon.

The second biopsy was supposed to be carried out in October 2010 but was cancelled and rescheduled for January 2011.

He has also claimed there was a failure to discuss the treatment options available before carrying out radical head and neck surgery when it was unreasonable to do so.

When the case opened on Tuesday, the court was told that when Mr McMahon was first at the hospital, in 2010, he had a throat lesion in the first level of cancer. Targeted radiotherapy would have cured him, the court heard.

The operation to remove Mr McMahon's voice box was completely over the top and too radical, it was claimed.

Experts for him would say the cancer - which by January 2011 had reached the third level - could have been treated with a combination of chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

The case continues.

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