Opinion Columnists

Friday 25 May 2018

'When they told us it was horrifically hard to hear'

Grace Rattigan's mother, Catherine Reck, was one of the 17 women to die in the smear test scandal, writes Maeve Sheehan

Catherine Reck is one of the 17 women who have died from cancer after her smear reading was a false negative
Catherine Reck is one of the 17 women who have died from cancer after her smear reading was a false negative
Maeve Sheehan

Maeve Sheehan

Grace Rattigan couldn't bring herself to tune into the unfolding scandal about CervicalCheck. Her mother, Catherine Reck, died of cervical cancer a year after she was diagnosed.

"I tried to avoid it. Anything like this brings up a lot of stuff for us. Then a news article came up on my phone. It said 17 women are dead already. I went 'ok, maybe it is time we gave this our attention'," she said.

At 4pm last Thursday, in the same suite at Tallaght Hospital where Catherine was diagnosed with cancer, Grace, her father Paul and her brother Thomas were told her mother was one of the 17 women.

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