September 27, 2021

We grieve for the life Eoghan has lost, says mum of boy awarded €2.5m over misdiagnosis at UHW

A six-year-old boy who was misdiagnosed by University Hospital Waterford has been awarded an interim settlement of €2.5m by the High Court.

UHW has also apologised to the parents of Eoghan Keating from Upper Dunhill, Co Waterford who suffered brain damage after the misdiagnosis of an infection from chicken pox developed into sepsis.

His tearful mother Martina told the court how “We grieve every day for the life Eoghan has lost” and how how her son how her son was a fun loving toddler until just before his second birthday (see full staement below).

The court was told that the toddler has been taken to UHW with a rash and a lump on his neck but was diagnosed incorrectly with mumps.

His parents Martina and Larry subsequently called the hospital twice as his condition deteriorated and after they contacted a GP, he was urgently sent back to hospital, where he was then transferred to Temple Street Children’s Hospital.

Since then, Eoghan has been unable to walk, speak or see and is dependent on others for all his needs.

The High Court heard that when he first went to the hospital if he had been prescribed antibiotics then, his brain injury would not have occurred.

In court lawyers for the hospital read a statement from the general manager who apologised for the “deficiencies in care provided to Eoghan on the 24th of August 2014”.

The statement also acknowledged the “many challenges that you and your family have faced as a result of the treatment afforded to Eoghan. I do not under estimate how traumatic this has been for you and we are truly sorry for the distress this has caused to you and to Eoghan.”

Full text of statement read in court by Martina Keating:

Before Eoghan became seriously ill we had so many hopes and dreams for him. He was
an energetic, fun loving little toddler.

Eoghan was very sociable and loved nothing more than giving hugs to everyone when he
was leaving a room or saying goodbye.

It would have meant everything to us to see him grow into a young man, fall in love and
eventually form a loving family of his own.

Unfortunately for Eoghan this is now not to be.

We grieve every day for the life Eoghan has lost but we know we are blessed to still have
him with us.

We cannot imagine going through what our little warrior has been through over the last
four years, the numerous hospital admissions, surgeries, treatments and painful

Eoghan cannot play unaided or tell us what he wants, we try to look and listen for his
little cues however these are very subtle.

There is no singing nursery rhymes or dancing in the kitchen with his sister like there
once was and Eoghan cannot reach out his arms to give hugs anymore.

We get a turn of his head in recognition of our voices on a good day and on a very good
day, when there is no discomfort, we get a smile which is so very, very precious but we
do miss the sound of his little laugh.

We love our Eoghanie so very much and would return this settlement if it would
miraculously enable Eoghan to be pain free and carefree as he once was.

We acknowledge the apology from University Hospital Waterford however the price
Eoghan has paid over his short life has been far too high.

Our greatest hope for Eoghan into the future is that we can improve his quality of life and
facilitate him to thrive and be the best he can be.

Finally we would like to thank those who have supported and cared for Eoghan over the
last four years, also our legal team of M.M. Halley and Son and our barristers who have
brought us to this stage.

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