Monday 23 September 2019

'Disgusting test error a robbery of life for me and my five children'

Emma Mhic Mhathúna
Emma Mhic Mhathúna
Robin Schiller

Robin Schiller

A woman who was diagnosed with cancer after receiving a false negative smear test result three years earlier has described the CervicalCheck scandal as "robbery of life".

Emma Mhic Mhathúna (37) was told she had second-stage cervical cancer in 2016 - despite a smear test in 2013 coming back clear.

The mother of five was informed of the false test result only last Sunday by her doctor, after news of issues surrounding CervicalCheck emerged.

Ms Mhic Mhathúna has described the scandal surrounding CervicalCheck as "disgusting" and told 'TV3 News' she is still trying to digest the news.

"The last few days, I'm in shock. It hasn't fully sunk in because I'm trying to raise my five children at the same time," she said.

"So pre-cancerous cells, it's a few minutes' procedure, you take off the cells and on you go, but not stage 2B, you're really far in to the cancer itself so it would have made a huge difference, not only to my life but to my five children's lives."

The Kerry resident, who appeared last year in a HSE promotional video to encourage the uptake of the HPV vaccine, said she felt sickened by her predicament after promoting the smear test.

"I feel like the joke is on me because I went and tried to help CervicalCheck by making sure I [said] in the HPV ad that the smear picked up my cells.

"Don't ever, for the foreseeable future, put me in front of somebody who works for CervicalCheck because... it's just disgusting, it's robbery of life, it's robbery of dignity. "Making women go around thinking something is true when it's not," she said.

"I should never have even had cancer."

Irish Independent

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