The family of a 10-year-old girl who died after a series of operations at Temple Street Hospital are now realising the "true horror" of what she went through, their solicitor has said.
This morning, Children's Health Ireland (CHI) published two comprehensive reports examining spinal surgeries conducted at Temple Street Children's Hospital.
The reports – including a Boston Review, and an internal CHI review – highlight elevated complication rates following spinal surgeries performed by a consultant.
One alarming revelation is that a single child required 34 subsequent visits to the operating theatre.
A further external report is now being conducted of 19 children treated at Temple Street – including the death of a 10-year-old girl, Dollceanna Carter, who had spina bifida and scoliosis.
Dollceanna had multiple further procedures after her first surgery in May of 2021 and died on September 29th last year.
'In good faith'
Speaking to The Pat Kenny Show, solicitor Ciaran Tansey, who is representing the Carter family, said Dollceanna's family went to Temple Street "in good faith, expecting a resolution for their child".
"They never even imagined it was possible to have gone through what they went through, including what's happened since she passed in September of last year," he said.
"She initially attended for remedial surgery, and unfortunately, there was an unplanned complication arising from that initial surgery.
"She requires subsequent surgeries and unfortunately, tragically died in September of last year, and some months have passed since then."
Mr Tansey said it is only in recent times that the "true horror" of what happened to Dollceanna has dawned on the family.
"It's all coming back out in a really terrible manner for them," he said.
"It's one thing to have lost her child, but it's a second thing to have lost your child in the eye of the public in circumstances which are baffling, to be frank."
Mr Tansey said the family want to know why processes were continued in Temple Street Hospital when it was "abundantly clear that there was a major problem".
"People clearly knew that was an issue for a period and it was only last autumn that the plug was pulled on certain procedures being carried out in Temple Street Hospital," he said.
"The second point is how these medical devices were permitted entry into the hospital when they're unregulated or tested.
"Who ordered them? Who delivered them to the operating theatres? Who signed off on their implantation in children's backs?"
Mr Tansey said the family want information on the post-operation follow-ups.
"If one doctor carried out a procedure – perhaps on a non-authorised basis – how is that not picked up on, after the fact, in a post-review assessment or in a peer review scenario or something of that nature?" he asked.
Mr Tansey said the family are now "motivated" to ensure another family doesn't have to go through the same situation.
"A proper functioning system is now necessary," he said.
"Some of my other clients are in the midst of this and they require treatment solutions to be put in place for their children.
Mr Tansey said some of his clients are now waiting to hear about their postponed surgeries, as the backlog continues to grow.
"The families are urgently seeking a resolution as opposed to a worsening situation," he said.
"I believe the only solution is to outsource this function externally, in England, in other countries, and that process needs to be started.
"As a result of the complications, many of these children are in a worse-off situation than they ought to be.
"They will, as a result, require additional care, additional accommodation, additional occupational therapy supports.
"That's an inevitable consequence of what has been revealed this week."