Cork man left paralysed by back surgery sues for damages

A 27-year-old man who was left paralysed following scoliosis surgery at the Blackrock Clinic in Dublin has begun a High Court action for damages.

Richard O'Callaghan, from Togher in Cork, defied medical odds to recover from the paralysis, which it is alleged occurred due to the negligence of his orthopedic surgeon at the Blackrock Clinic in December, 2005.

His lawyers told the Court that surgeon Frank Dowling, with an address at suite 29, Blackrock Clinic, inserted screws into the spine "freehand" without spinal cord monitoring.

In the days following the operation, the then 19-year-old's condition deteriorated and he was left with paraplegia.

Lawyers say the surgeon went on holidays after the operation, and when phoned and asked about his patient's extreme chest pain, he said it was a panic attack.

Against all the odds, the court was told Richard O'Callaghan regained the ability to walk and is now suing for damages.

Frank Dowling denies negligence and will argue the surgery was performed with due professionalism and diligence.

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