Blind man's family would 'return every cent of €5.9m' settlement if he could see

A 49-year-old man who sued over his care at Beaumont Hospital in Dublin has settled his High Court action for €5.9m.

The court heard a shunt which had been in Brendan Doyle’s brain since childhood was removed when he was admitted to Beaumont in 2011 but not re-inserted.

This had “tragic consequences” and he is now totally blind, his counsel, Denis McCullough, said.

It was the “final straw” for Mr Doyle, who has cerebral palsy and mild learning disabilities. Approving the settlement, Mr Justice Kevin Cross said the incident had a catastrophic effect on Mr Doyle.

The Doyle family said the settlement would provide Brendan with a purpose-built home of his own and the 24-hour support he needs.

“We and Brendan would return every cent of this settlement were it to mean that he could see again but we hope that with therapy and proper rehabilitation Brendan will, at least, once again become an active member of his community and begin to enjoy life once more,” his family said.

Mr Doyle, who lives at Lawson House, Glenbrien, Enniscorthy, Co Wexford, through his brother, John Doyle, sued Beaumont Hospital over the circumstances of his care.

It was claimed that on June 1, 2011, he was complaining of a headache and vomiting.

He went to his local hospital in Wexford where he had a CT scan and was referred to Beaumont. It was claimed that due to a suspicion Mr Doyle had sustained a shunt-related infection, it was removed and not re-established.

Mr Doyle was discharged from Beaumont on June 10, 2011, with directions to continue antibiotic therapy. The next day he was back in A&E and had a CT scan.

Mr Doyle was referred back to Beaumont and in August 2011 his case was reviewed. It was claimed the impression was formed that his condition was improving. In early September 2011, he suffered loss of vision and was referred back to Beaumont where he underwent surgery. But Mr Doyle had lost his eyesight.

John Doyle, in a statement read outside court by his solicitor, Michael Boylan, said Brendan had been very independent, using bus services, writing for his local newspaper and enjoying hobbies.

“Brendan has wasted almost seven years of his life in a nursing home with no effective rehabilitation programme, surrounded by elderly patients,” the statement read.

“Before this he required supervision only rather than care. Brendan was an active and contributing member of his community.

“We will return to Wexford to start putting arrangements in place so Brendan will spend Christmas in a suitable home.”

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