Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 28 December 2014

Praveen Halappanavar flies to India to brief Savita's parents on inquest

Praveen Halappanavar
Praveen Halappanavar
Savita's husband Praveen Halappanavar
Savita Halappanavar

Praveen Halappanavar is preparing to return to India to brief his family on the next step in his fight for "the truth" surrounding his wife's death.

He will fly to southern India to explain to Savita's parents the implications of the verdict of last Friday's inquest, which found the 31-year-old dentist had died from medical misadventure.

Praveen has ruled out leaving Ireland altogether, however.

"There are still some questions that need answered. I haven't got my answers yet," he said. "I owe it to Savita and I owe it to Savita's parents to get all the answers and all the truth."

The limited boundaries of an inquest had to be explained to Savita's parents, Andaneppa and Akhamahadevi Yalagi, by Praveen's legal team.

They were given updates from the inquest twice every day.

The inquest heard how Praveen had driven Savita's parents to Dublin to catch a flight home to India on Tuesday, October 23, the day before Savita became gravely ill.

Friends now say that the Yalagis had been in Ireland for 85 days on a 90-day holiday visa and were worried about breaching immigration laws.

Praveen told the inquest that Savita had assured her mother and father that she was going to be fine, despite entering her third day in hospital.

"The visa was running out and it was playing on their minds and, with Savita's assurances, they decided to return to India," said one family friend.

"It was devastating for them to learn 48 hours later that Savita was in a critical condition."

Praveen's solicitor, Gerard O'Donnell, will this week brief counsel on taking a case on behalf of Savita and Praveen to the European Court of Human Rights.

Privately the family have accepted that the Irish Government will not accede to demands for a public inquiry.

Meanwhile, there were demands yesterday for the details of another strand of the investigation to be made public. The chairman of the HSE West Regional Health Forum, councillor Padraig Conneely, said that in light of the "systems failures" identified during the eight-day inquest into Savita's death, it was "imperative" that the HIQA findings also be made immediately known.

Last November the HSE asked HIQA to begin an investigation into Mrs Halappanavar's death, in addition to its own inquiry.

A copy of the HSE investigation has already been presented to Mr O'Donnell for Praveen's view.

The HIQA investigation is into "the safety, quality and standards of services provided by the HSE to patients, including pregnant women, at risk of clinical deterioration and as reflected in the care and treatment provided to Savita Halappanavar".

Mr Conneely stressed that time was now of the essence in rectifying the issues highlighted at her inquest, as well as any others found by HIQA.

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