A BANTRY mum said her son had brought her more love then she thought possible, but that every day she grieved for the baby she didn’t bring home.
Grace Kearney was speaking about her profoundly disabled son Mark as the High Court approved a further substantial interim payout in the settlement of his action over the circumstances of his birth at Cork University Maternity Hospital (CUMH).
Mark, aged nine, is brain damaged, a spastic quadriplegic, cannot speak and is almost totally blind. He suffers daily epileptic seizures and needs 24-hour care.
In a letter to Mr Justice Kevin Cross, Mark’s mum Grace said her son has taught herself and her husband Darren ‘to take every day as it comes and be grateful for the love we are surrounded by, but it has also left us both mentally and physically exhausted.’
She added: ‘I am tired of fighting for justice for Mark. Darren and I want to leave the court today and return home to be the best parents to Mark and his siblings that we can be.
‘Mark’s needs require that one of us is predominantly taking care of him, while the other parent is looking after the needs of our three other children. Simple things like sitting down and eating meals together and bedtime routines are unattainable. It is very isolating when you are so caught up in juggling to be the best carers we can be to Mark, while also trying to function as a normal family unit.’
Grace said while their lives changed forever after Mark’s birth, he has brought ‘so much joy and love to our family. He has taught us so much, but his condition has also brought so much pain and devastation.’
‘I am grateful for the little boy we have in Mark as he has brought us more love then we knew possible, but every day I grieve for the baby I didn’t bring home. The little boy who should have called mamma and dadda. Every milestone is a reminder of what we lost.’
Her only wish now, she said is to be able to close this chapter and try and get on with ‘the life we have been dealt without the worry and stress the proceedings have brought.’
She said they were ‘devoted to our beautiful, amazing son Mark and we will do everything in our power to ensure he is happy, loved and cared for, as he so deserves for the rest of his life. He is our life and he could not be more loved.’
Mark Kearney-Clifford, Arcnacloughy, Ballylickey, Bantry, had, through his mother, sued the HSE over the circumstances of his birth at CUMH on March 13th, 2010.
It was claimed there was an alleged failure to perform a Caesarean section in sufficient time or at all to prevent the baby from suffering from hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy.
There was also, it was claimed, an alleged failure to cause the CTG scan or other pre-natal monitoring results to be properly interpreted or otherwise reviewed by an experienced consultant in time or at all.
The claims were denied.