THE heartbroken family of the late and brave young Mark Clifford, who died last Friday in the arms of his loving mum Grace and dad Darren, said he ‘battled like a superhero through many an illness.’
Earlier this year, Mark (10) sued (through his mother Grace) the HSE over the circumstances of his birth at Cork University Maternity Hospital (CUMH) in 2010.
Mark was brain damaged from birth, was a spastic quadriplegic, unable to speak and almost totally blind. He also suffered daily epileptic seizures and needed 24-hour care.
The heartbroken Ballylickey family paid tribute to Mark and said that in his 10 years he has become the cornerstone of their families and brought more ‘love and laughter’ than they ever thought possible.
‘Mark is an exceptional little boy who despite all odds battled like a superhero through many an illness and showed enormous courage in the face of the toughest challenges,’ they said.
‘He is the centre of our universe and will continue to be our guardian angel. The heartbreak that we are all feeling is intense and it is hard to imagine a life without seeing that gorgeous smile every day. We know that not a day will pass when he is not talked about and missed.’
The family added that Mark was also blessed with the love of his sister Mia and two brothers, Charlie and Bobby, who saw him as special but normal all at the same time, and always went the extra mile to ensure he was part of their daily lives. His family also paid tribute to the ‘outstanding’ medical team of nurses, doctors and carers who cared for him.
In a touching tribute at his funeral last Sunday, 100 blue balloons were released by local schoolchildren, friends and neighbours as the funeral cortege passed by his home to his final resting place.
It was claimed in High Court in February that there was an alleged failure to perform a Caesarean section in sufficient time, or at all, and an alleged failure to cause the CTG scan or other pre-natal monitoring results to be properly interpreted, or at all.
The claims were denied by the HSE, but the High Court approved a further substantial interim pay-out in the settlement of the action.