Consultant in Raychel case also lost a daughter
The mother of a Derry schoolgirl who died after an operation in Altnagelvin Hospital says she has been “deeply moved” by a “genuine and heartfelt” apology from a senior hospital consultant.
Nine-year-old Raychel Ferguson died at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children in 2001, a day after having her appendix removed at the Derry hospital.
Her death is one of five currently being investigated by a public inquiry.
This week, Dr Brian McCord, a consultant paediatrician at Altnagelvin at the time of Raychel’s death, told the inquiry hearings in Banbridge that the schoolgirl had been “failed in the sense that she walked into hospital, but didn’t leave in a better condition than she left.”
He added: “To lose a child is totally against the natural order of things. You nor I don’t know what Raychel would have been capable of had she been here today.
“I have a daughter who died and shares Ballyowen [Cemetery] with Raychel. I never got to know her. I do, however, have a young daughter of 10, just slightly older than Raychel, and to think of losing her is unimaginable and I cannot think what it must have been like for you, as parents, to have Raychel wrenched away from you in the fashion that it did happen.
“I - as parent to parent - would like to offer you my heartfelt condolences. I didn’t have any chance formally to do that and I would like to have done it face to face, but didn’t.
“In addition to that, I feel that communication difficulties, particularly on my part, have potentially added to your distress. For example, the false hope that was offered and I, professionally, offer apologies for that.”
Mrs. Ferguson said Dr. McCord’s remarks were “genuine, emotional, from the heart and were deeply appreciated.”
She revealed that she had hugged Dr. McCord following his evidence.
“It must have taken guts to say what he said,” Mrs. Ferguson told the ‘Journal’.
“He looked us directly in the eye when he made his remarks. There was no equivocation and it was very moving. It was genuine, from the heart and that’s something which I appreciate.
“I’ve waited twelve years to hear someone say something like that and that’s one of the unfortunate things about all this.”
Earlier in the week, Mrs. Ferguson said she did not accept an expression of sympathy by nurses after their lawyer said his clients were devastated by the tragedy.
Marie Ferguson said it was an insult the nurses spoke through their lawyer and couldn’t express their own feelings when invited to do so.
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Derry
Monday 20 May 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 18 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 8 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 16 mph
Wind direction: North west