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Friday 13 December 2019

It's the cover-up over this that's killing us, says family

Edel Kennedy

THE family of a mother of five, whose cancer was not spotted on her initial X-rays at Tallaght Hospital, said last night they no longer trusted the health system.

The 66-year-old woman had suffered from chronic back pain and had been sent for a number of X-rays at Tallaght Hospital in 2007. She was told the pain was due to "wear and tear" and was sent home with painkillers.

But her family doctor felt that it was "something more sinister" and arranged for her to have another X-ray.

"She fell two days before the X-ray and put her back out," her daughter told the Irish Independent last night.

"But then they found that there was a tumour lying on her spinal cord.

"She had been told there was nothing wrong with her but three months later she was riddled with cancer. How could that happen?

"I don't blame individuals, but the system is clearly wrong."


Her mother, who had 16 grandchildren and one great-grandchild, died 10 months after being diagnosed.

Last night, her daughter -- who asked that the family's details not be published -- said the family had contacted Tallaght Hospital and asked if her mother was one of those whose X-ray had not been reviewed by a consultant radiologist.

She was told her mother's records would be checked and that she would be contacted. However, the daughter was also told that nothing could be confirmed over the phone.

"We just wonder now if we would have gotten more time with her," she said.

"Dad is terribly upset about all this, he is broken-hearted. It doesn't give me a lot of faith in the HSE. Not everyone in it is the same but the system isn't working. Mary Harney knew about this since December but nothing was done.

"It's the cover-up in this country that's killing us."

Irish Independent

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