'The HSE took a gamble with my wife's life... they didn't lose anything, we lost everything'
“I feel like the HSE took a gamble with my wife’s life and they didn’t lose anything and we lost everything,” said a widower whose wife died of cancer following inaccurate results of a smear test in 2009.
The widower, speaking on Today with Sean O’Rourke said the current cancer screening controversy has “re-opened all sorts of old wounds” for himself and their five children.
The caller explained that his late wife had taken a previous smear test in 2007 that showed some abnormalities and pre-cancerous cells, but was pronounced clear after a procedure to the remove the cells, and cleared once again in February 2009.
Only months after being declared clear for the second time, the widower’s wife began experiencing serious hemorrhaging and health issues. She was then told by doctors that she had a tumour and was to begin treatment straight away.
“She fought a tremendous battle, she was in constant pain, never stopped bleeding and the weight just fell off her,” the caller said. “She was basically putting up one hell of a fight for her life.”
Just 16 months after her diagnosis, the mother-of-five passed away.
The widower spoke about the heart-breaking experience his children went through while their mother was ill: “They used to be asking me is their mam going to die and it was tremendously stressful. My wife used to just look at her baby and just cry sometimes. I think she was thinking, you know, I’m not going to be around, is he going to remember me?”
He explained about how his youngest — who was two at the time of his mother’s passing — still feels her loss today: “On Mother’s Day at school for example when all the other kids are making Mother’s Day cards, he has to make one for me.
“Two cards a year come to me and he says to me, it breaks my heart every time 'I miss my mom', Dad.”
The father of five said he does not think enough is being done to handle the current screening controversy, and fears for those who will feel its effects in the future.
“I think there is going to be more devastating news as the months and the rest of the year goes on, there are some horrific stories that are going to come out and there are going to be lives lost,” he concluded.