Dead tradie’s family want answers after he texted for help in hospital

Kyle Gallagher: Tradie’s desperate texts from hospital pleading for help hours before he died at STARS in Brisbane’s Metro North Hospital

Grief-stricken parents are demanding to know what hospital care their dying son received in his desperate final hours. 

Kyle Gallagher, 22, tried to contact both his mother and father complaining he wasn’t getting help to breathe before he died in a Brisbane rehabilitation facility on July 14.

Mr Gallagher’s death, which came a month after he was seriously injured in a motorbike crash suffering a brain injury, is now the subject of a coronial investigation.

The night he died, the young roofer texted his father, Matty Gallagher to say: ‘I need something to help me breathe’.

He sent another heartbreaking message to his dad, which read: ‘They’re not giving me anything and I won’t make it much longer’.

Kyle Gallagher's death, which came a month after he was seriously injured in a motorbike crash, is now the subject of a coronial investigation

Tw of the anguished messages the young tradie sent to his father before he died

Mr Gallagher also reached out to his mum, Christina Dargusch, ringing her phone. 

But she could not answer.

Ms Dargusch only realised her son had called the next morning, shortly after she was informed he had passed away in the care of the Surgical, Treatment and Rehabilitation Service (STARS).

STARS is part of Brisbane’s Metro North Hospital, located at Herston.

‘Why is he dead? Why?’ Mr Gallagher demanded to know on 7News

Both parents want to understand exactly what checks were made on their son before he died. 

Kyle Gallagher, 22, tried to contact both his mother and father complaining he wasn't getting help to breathe before he died in a Brisbane rehabilitation facility on July 14

Kyle Gallagher was in and out of hospital several times after suffering a brain injury in a motorbike accident a month before he died

They now realise Kyle’s attempts to contact them was because ‘he knew he was dying’. 

They had expected Kyle to make a full recovery after the crash left him with broken bones and post-traumatic amnesia.

The brain injury meant he couldn’t remember the accident, his stepmother, Tegan Samorowski, said.

‘Sometimes he’d move, feel pain and ask ‘Dad why am I so sore?’ Mr Gallagher said.

At one point Kyle discharged himself from the hospital.

Still in severe pain he returned to the hospital’s emergency department the next day.

His family invoked ‘Ryan’s Rule’, wanting control of his medical decisions, but were told by hospital authorities he was of sound mind.

Kyle Gallagher's despairing father, Matty Gallagher is demanding to know why his son died when he couldn't breathe. Pictured: Mr Gallagher with Kyle's stepmother Tegan Samorowski

READ MORE: What is ‘Ryan’s Rule’?

Ryan’s Rule’ is a Queensland health care clause created in 2007 after three-year-old Ryan Saunders was misdiagnosed with mumps and his parents were sent away with instructions to give him Panadol.

Thirty hours later, he died as a result of toxic shock.

The Queensland government introduced the clause stating: ‘No children or adults could be turned away, misdiagnosed or left untreated.’ 


STARS told 7News in a statement its staff were supporting Kyle Gallagher’s family but that it could not comment further because a coronial investigation was underway.

Queensland’s health ombudsman is also investigating. 

It is understood the ombudsman and coroner will take at least three months to report their respective findings.

Daily Mail Australia approached Queensland Health and the Office of the Health Ombudsman for comment. 


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