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Waterford mother of boy who settled High Court action tells other mothers to speak up

Waterford mother of boy who settled High Court action tells other mothers to speak up
15/06/23 Faith Tutty (blonde hair)and her sister Charlotte (red hair) from Dungarvan Co Waterford who settled an action against the HSEโ€ฆ Pic Collins Courts

The mother of a six-year-old autistic boy who has settled a High Court action over his birth has told other mothers who may have endured traumatic births to speak up and ask questions.

Faith Tutty was speaking at the Four Courts where her son Nate settled a High Court action over the circumstances of his birth at University Hospital, Waterford with a €1.4million interim payout.

Nate Tutty cannot speak and has developmental delay.

The settlement against the HSE is based on a 70 per cent admitted liability, Mr Justice Paul Coffey was told.

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In a statement outside court, Ms Tutty said at the time her son was born she did not question the care provided to either of them.

“I'd like to say to any mother who has endured a traumatic birth to be courageous, ask questions, speak up, don't doubt your instincts, don't be silenced by fear or guilt,” she said.

She added: “No one should have to go through this at your most vulnerable.

Giving birth should be a positive empowering experience but sadly for a lot of women like me it is not.”

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She said : “My choice and my  son’s voice were taken from us.”

“Today's result although positive for Nate’s future is still heartbreakingly sad as so many aspects could have and should have been prevented,” she said.

She added: “My son is a survivor, my beautiful precious brown eyed boy is loved unconditionally but life is very challenging for him and the reality is we will both face many more challenges along our journey but we will face them as always together.”

She said it was a relief to know that her son will have all he needs & deserves to help him in the next chapter of his life and future.

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Nate’s case will come back before the court in six years’ time when his future care needs will be assessed.

Nate Tutty of  Dungarvan, Co Waterford had through his mother Faith Tutty sued the HSE over the circumstances of his birth at University Hospital Waterford on June 7th 2017.

Ms Tutty was admitted to the hospital in the early hours of June 7th 2017 and was transferred to the labour ward. Nate was delivered after 9pm on June 7th 2017.

It was claimed he suffered severe asphyxia , hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy and  traumatic head injuries allegedly causing him to suffer developmental delay and autism.

It was claimed had the baby boy been delivered by elective caesarean section at term or by emergency caesarean section when indicated during the labour these complications would have allegedly been avoided.

Jeremy Maher SC instructed by Cian O Carroll solicitors told the court it was their case that “ all of this could have been avoided.”

Experts on their side would say in May the position of the baby in the womb was problematic, and the mother should have been counselled about having an emergency caesarean section. Counsel said Ms Tutty would have proceeded to have the caesarean. Experts for the HSE contend there was nothing untoward in the antenatal period.

Counsel said it was their case there were “two red flags during labour” where the caesarean section should have been done.

It was their case that the decision to have a caesarean should have been made, and the baby would have been born two hours earlier.

Counsel said when an obstetrician was called he said they would wait a further fifteen minutes, and he could not be located afterwards. Counsel said it was now conceded by the HSE that the failure of the medic to remain constituted a breach of duty, but it contended if the obstetrician had stayed it would have taken just six minutes less for the baby to be born.

The HSE, Counsel said  also contended there was a mild hypoxic event  and Nate’s condition does not tally with it, and they said it was genetic related.

Mr Maher said Nate’s family had tests and there was no evidence of any genetic basis to his condition.Approving the settlement Mr Justice Coffey conveyed his best wishes to Nate and his family.

By High Court Reporters

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