The Donegal family of a little boy with cerebral palsy who received a €15m court settlement hopes that one day the money might help pay for a “cure”.
Eoin McCallig, who was born in Dublin’s Coombe Hospital on November 24, 2012, was awarded the settlement at the High Court in Dublin in November.
The court heard that there had been “error upon error”, including a failure to act on instructions to move Eoin’s mother, Jean (41), to a delivery room earlier and to ensure a continuous monitoring of the foetal heartbeat.
The McCalligs, from Dunkineely, plan to spend minimal instalments of the settlement for Eoin’s care each year of his life.
But in the future they also hope the money will put him in a position to benefit from any medical intervention.
Eoin’s father Anthony (39) told herald.ie “If there’s any medical advances coming up we’ll be able to afford it now.
“A cure is the ultimate hope. There have been major advances for conditions like multiple sclerosis, so we hope the same will happen for cerebral palsy.”
Mr and Mrs McCallig revealed that they froze the umbilical cord blood of their second son, Daniel (2), in the hope it could one day be used to help Eoin.
A US study is offering new hope to families in the treatment of cerebral palsy.
The study could one day herald a new treatment for the condition by using blood stem cells collected at birth.
Anthony said “unfortunately” the family didn’t know to collect Eoin’s umbilical cord blood but they hoped Daniel’s blood could one day help his older brother.
“We’ve stored the blood for 10 years and we’re very hopeful one day it could help Eoin,” he added.
“We know developments are being made in China but we would want to wait for progress here or in the UK, to see if there’s hope.
“Early intervention is crucial, so something might work and hopefully we are financially in a place to be at the forefront.”
Anthony said that despite his son’s disabilities he loved to interact with other children and had become a bit of a “celebrity” at his school, Niall Mor National School in Killybegs.
The pupils made Eoin a touching birthday card in the days after he won the settlement.