Saturday 22 September 2018

Family get €3.5m after baby boy suffers brain damage in operation

Parents Greville and Anne-Louise Miley had raised concern about their child Jude after he had to have surgery (Courtpix)
Parents Greville and Anne-Louise Miley had raised concern about their child Jude after he had to have surgery (Courtpix)

A hospital has apologised to a four-year-old boy left profoundly brain damaged after an operation when he was a baby.

The apology was read to the High Court as part of settlement of Jude Miley's action with an interim payment of €3.5m over the next two years.

Counsel for Crumlin Children's Hospital in Dublin, Emily Egan, turned to face Jude's parents and read out the statement in which the hospital offered an "unequivocal, unreserved and heartfelt" apology for what had happened him.

The hospital said it "appreciated and greatly regretted the huge trauma" suffered by the baby and his family.

Jude was only six months old when a suture used in an operation to release his diaphragm and help his breathing remained untrimmed, causing damage to the heart muscle.

Two days later he had a heart attack and had to be rushed to theatre for emergency surgery, which saved his life.

Jude, of Holywell, Upper Kilmacud Road, Dundrum, Dublin, had, through his father Greville Miley, sued Our Lady's Hospital for Sick Children.

Jude was born on July 16, 2011, and by January of the following year a condition regarding the contour of his diaphragm was diagnosed.

Necessary surgery was carried out on January 24, 2012, which, it was claimed, was below the standard of care.

It was claimed a suture was placed in the wrong place, damaging the heart and resulting in the baby deteriorating, culminating in the baby suffering a cardiac arrest on January 26, 2012.

Senior counsel Liam Reidy, for the Mileys, told the court that Jude's little heart was being pierced by the suture.

His mother, Anne Louise Miley, who was a public health nurse, had raised concerns about her son after his operation but these were dismissed, counsel said.

Greville Miley told the court he and his wife were told their son would be in a vegetative state but as a result of therapies in the UK and the US he can now walk and run, talk and eat normally though slowly. He said Jude is the happiest child he knows.


Mr Miley said friends had set up a trust fund for Jude and that was how the family were able to travel to the US and the UK.

Approving the settlement, Mr Justice Kevin Cross thanked the Mileys for the care they had given their son to date.

In a statement afterwards, the Mileys said their concerns after their son's operation had been dismissed "as those of fussy parents".

However, their son had sustained permanent and catastrophic brain damage.

In three years' time Jude's case will come back before the court when the child's future care needs will be assessed.

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