‘I’m dying and I didn’t need to die’: CervicalCheck victim receives terminal diagnosis

The 37-year-old mother of five was told in 2013 that her smear test was clear. It wasn’t

Emma Mhic Mhathúna, a 37 year old mother of five, is one of scores of Irish women who were wrongly told they had normal smear tests through the CervicalCheck screening programme

“The Government needs to go; they’re not actually capable of minding us. I’m dying and I didn’t need to die,” said Emma Mhic Mhathúna, a 37-year-old mother of five who was told this week that she is terminally ill.

Ms Mhic Mhathúna is one of scores of Irish women who were wrongly told they had normal smear tests through the CervicalCheck screening programme, prompting the Government to set up a scoping inquiry into the scandal.

“If my smear test was read right in 2013 I wouldn’t be here in this situation today” she told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland.

Ms Mhic Mhathúna will have further tests tomorrow to determine “how long exactly I’ve got. They’ll know more when they get the results. All my doctors - my GP, my gynaecologist, my oncologist, they’re a fabulous team. If there’s anything available they’ll find it.”


She said when she heard of the cervical cancer controversy she thought the head of the HSE would do something and then that the Minister for Health would step in “but he didn’t do anything. So then I was like, surely the Taoiseach is going to do something and he just seems to be sticking up for them. And they’re all hiding there in the Dáil and they don’t see what I see.”

Ms Mhic Mhathúna told how she had a feeling she had cancer as she had cancer before, but she didn’t think it would be terminal. Her GP gave her the prognosis this week and she subsequently told her children.

“They were devastated. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. My job is to protect them.”

She had put off getting the results until Tuesday as there was a family Confirmation at the weekend. She had to collect her children from school after receiving the diagnosis. “There’s so much pain in the house.”

“My children are going to be without me, and I’m going to be without them. I tried to do everything right, you know, breastfeeding, and being a full-time mum, and sacrificing my own life for them. I didn’t see it as a sacrifice and now I’m going to miss out.

“I don’t even know if my little baby is going to remember me.

“This isn’t fair. And no amount of money can replace this.”