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  • Writer's picturePatrick Moriarty

€750,000 High Court settlement over 42-year-old Leitrim woman's death

The family of a 42-year-old mother-of-three who died of a heart attack just hours after visiting her GP complaining of cardiac-like symptoms have settled their High Court action for €750,000.

The three young daughters of Sheila Tymon found her collapsed on her bed at home and they had to ring their father who drove with his car lights flashing to get to the family home in Carrick-on-Shannon, Co Leitrim.

An off-duty detective followed Michael Tymon, who was driving at 70km in a 50km zone, and later tried to help him resuscitate his wife as her three daughters aged between five and ten years old looked on.

Michael Tymon, Kilboderry, Summerhill, Carrick-on-Shannon, Co Leitrim along with his daughters Rachel, Rebecca and Katelyn had sued GP Martina Cogan, who was practicing at a surgery at Keadue Health Centre, Keadue, Boyle, Co Roscommon in 2013.

The settlement, Mr Justice Kevin Cross was told, was without an admission of liability.

Senior Counsel for the Tymons Pearse Sreenan said it was their case that Mrs Tymon should have been sent on for further investigation and treatment, which in all probability would have saved her and she would have gone on to live a full life.

It was claimed that in June 2013 Sheila Tymon complained of having abnormal sensations in her chest and down both arms, which were very unpleasant and causing her discomfort and pain. It was claimed she went to Ms Cogan on 10 June, who found that Mrs Tymon's blood pressure was high and a working diagnosis of possible shingles was made.

On 12 June, 2013 Mrs Tymon attended the doctor's surgery and a 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitor was applied. An anti-hypertensive medication was prescribed and the plan was for Mrs Tymon to have a further review in three weeks. Mrs Tymon, it was claimed, took her medication but continued to get pain on exertion and at rest.

On 25 June 2013, she phoned the doctor's surgery and asked if she would bring the review appointment forward and was told there was no appointment available until 27 June. On that day, she attended the doctor's surgery and it was recorded that she had recurring jabs in the front of the chest, shoulders, the top of her back and down her arms.

The working diagnosis was of a muscular/skeletal problem and she was prescribed anti-inflammatories.

Mrs Tymon felt reassured but later that evening she complained of pain in her neck radiating into her head. At 7.45pm, her children found her lying motionless on her bed.

A post-mortem on 29 June 2013 found Mrs Tymon had extensive cardiovascular disease and her heart was enlarged. The cause of death was given as acute cardiac failure.

It was alleged there was a failure to care for Mrs Tymon properly or at all and an alleged failure to treat her adequately or at all.

There was also, it was claimed, an alleged failure to recognise, diagnose or treat or suspect that Mrs Tymon was having had or likely to have a deep vein thrombosis, which could cause a pulmonary embolism, which unless treated, could be and proved to be fatal.

Approving the settlement, Mr Justice Kevin Cross offered his sympathy to Mr Tymon and his family. Afterwards, Mr Tymon said: "On the morning of 27 June 2013, my beloved wife Sheila attended her GP, with cardiac type symptoms. "Her symptoms did not result in a referral. That evening, my daughters Rachel, Rebecca and Katelyn who were then aged ten, eight and five years old, found their mother collapsed and motionless.

"Rachel telephoned me and from the description I knew in my heart that Sheila was dead. "However, I drove home at speed and I tried to resuscitate her as did the emergency services but she was gone. I was distraught and trying to find answers and could not reconcile how this could have happened.

"My wife was only 42 years old. I did not get any answers until I attended Cantillons Solicitors. The evidence obtained demonstrated that if Sheila had been referred for review, that she would be alive today. He said that it was the end of a long journey, which could have been easier and considerably shorter.

Mr Tymon added: "Even as this case concludes, no admission of liability or apology has been offered. I am saddened by this, but I feel I have done my utmost for both Sheila and our daughters in getting answers as to why she died."

Financial Blueprint of a Medical Negligence Case

Medical Negligence and personal injury cases are often a topic of conversation in Ireland. A case is built on the strength of expert reports and testimony. The ancillary costs are driven up by lack of access to salient medical records and details. This further underlines the need for mandatory disclosure and the need for patients to have live access to their own updated medical records.

At Peter McDonnell & Associates we know from experience that the single greatest cause of worry for clients is the issue of legal fees and costs. People worry that before a case commences or at the end of their case, they will be presented with a large legal bill that will be impossible to pay.

Contact us to find out how to fund a High Court Action on 087 2285247 or

*In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or a proportion of any award or settlement.

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