THE father of a Wexford woman who died from cervical cancer has called for changes in medical negligence cases.
Mr Willie Berry from Wexford town lost his daughter Mary in July 2015 after a short battle with the disease. The 30-year-old woman left behind two young children, who were just eight and four when she died.
The heartbroken father of seven has contacted Government officials, urging them to change the laws that allow surviving family members to claim for medical negligence.
Mr Berry wants the period to be increased from the current two years to five, to give more time to family left behind.
The 70-year-old said: “The period needs to be extended in order to help those left behind. Mary has two young children who have no voice.
“I want them to have something to remember their Mammy by but no amount of money will bring her back,” he told the Irish Daily Mirror.
His late daughter went to her GP after experiencing irregular bleeding and a smear test revealed she had stage four cervical cancer and just months to live.
She underwent treatment in Wexford General Hospital before being sent to University Hospital Waterford in May 2015..
Mr Berry claims a scan revealed a dark shadow on her womb but the doctor told her to return in three months for treatment. By then, his daughter had died.
He said: “When you lose someone, you don’t think of money. You’re grieving, and you’re trying to get through that. If it is proven a doctor is guilty of medical neglect there should, in my opinion, be no barriers or obstacles in place to obstruct people seeking redress.
I look at my daughter’s photo and have the inspiration to fight on. It’s like she’s telling me to fight for this.
“I don’t want anyone to be in the position we are, where Mary’s children have nothing.”
Mr Berry said he did not understand why there could be such a strict deadline of two years when other medical issues can be claimed within years later.
He said: “Army deafness, victims of clerical abuse and those affected by the Magdalene laundries can claim years after but, for medical negligence, the window is much shorter.”
The Department of Health told Mr Berry: “We are not in a position to advise on the legal issues you raise.”
University Hospital Waterford said it would “review the issues and concerns raised in correspondence in line with the national ‘Your service, your say’ policy.”
The HSE said: “We do not comment on individual cases.