September 4, 2013

A young man could not have been saved unless he had a George Best-style liver transplant after his drinking went out of control, a Donegal coroner’s court has been told.

Coroner John Canon

Coroner John Canon

Grzegorz Skalacki, 31, began to drink heavily following the death of his mother in 2006.

His condition reached crisis point in August, 2011 he was rushed to hospital after be began vomiting blood in front of his wife and only son at his home in Ardara.

Less than 24 hours later he was pronounced dead at Letterkenny General Hospital.

The court was told today that Grzegorz Poitr Skalacki of 2 Drumbarron Park, Ardara had moved to Ireland four years ago. He worked in Gallagher’s bakery in Ardara.

The court heard evidence from Grzegorz’ wife, Marzena. He had been drinking heavily for a few days before his death on Sunday August 28, 2011. He had stomach pain and was vomiting blood.

Mrs. Skalacki called an ambulance to take Grzegorz to Letterkenny General Hospital, while she stayed at home with their 8-year-old son.

He died the next morning at 7.24am.

Mrs. Skalacki wiped away tears as her evidence was read out to the court. She told Coroner Cannon that Grzegorz began drinking everyday after his mother died five years ago.

Dr. Gerry O’Dowd gave evidence from the autopsy that showed Grzegorz had chronic liver problems, high blood pressure and fluid retention.

Dr. O’Dowd said that any recovery for his condition would have only been possible through complete abstinence from alcohol. He referred to the footballer George Best.

“George Best would have been a classic example of that. The only treatment would have been a liver transplant.” Dr O’Dowd said.

Coroner John Cannon told the court that he found it unusual that Grzegorz did not take his prescribed medication after he had been to hospital the previous year, and he refused to get counselling for his alcohol problem.

In his verdict, Coroner Cannon said “It’s a sad state of affairs that this man should be clasped in the grip of alcohol and did not seek refuge that was there.”

The cause of death was ruled as shock from hepatic cirrhosis, secondary to haemorrhaging of oesophageal varices.