Death announced of cervical cancer patient Patricia Carrick

Mother of four received a State apology in the Dáil from Taoiseach over failures in her case

Patricia Carrick, who settled a case against the HSE after her cancer diagnosis was missed. Photograph : Ciaran MacChoncarraige

Patricia Carrick, who settled a case against the HSE after her cancer diagnosis was missed. Photograph : Ciaran MacChoncarraige

 

Patricia Carrick, a mother of four who was diagnosed with cervical cancer after a previous smear test was incorrectly read, has died at the age of 51.

Ms Carrick was one of the more than 200 women affected by the CervicalCheck scandal, and last month received a State apology in the Dáil over the health service’s failures in her case.

Her husband Damien Carrick issued a statement on Twitter stating his wife, who was known as Trish, had “passed away very peacefully overnight”.

“She was comfortable throughout and is now at peace. Thank you for all your support,” he said. The couple lived in Co Galway and had four children, Ciarán, Ríoghna, Sorcha and Eoin.

Paying tribute, President Michael D Higgins said he was “greatly saddened” to learn of her death.

“I know that Patricia’s courage, which I know she held to the very end, and her grace as a campaigner, provide some solace to her loved ones at this difficult time,” he said.

He spoke to her husband and her father Pat O’Sullivan, a long time friend, at the beginning of November, he said. The families were well-known to him for years.

President Higgins said he wished to express “the sorrow of the people of Ireland and our sympathies with her family and friends.

“It is also appropriate at this time to think of all those who were failed by a system in which they had trusted, and their loved ones,” he said.

Vicky Phelan, whose High Court case first brought the CervicalCheck controversy to light in 2018, paid tribute to Ms Carrick, stating “another beautiful lady has been taken far too soon”.

Ms Carrick was diagnosed with cervical cancer last year and underwent treatment, but suffered a relapse in February, and in recent months had been receiving palliative care.

In October, the Health Service Executive and MedLab Pathology apologised in the High Court over the negligent reading of her smear test.

The apology was read after Ms Carrick and her husband settled their High Court action, in which it was claimed her smear test was misdiagnosed or misreported.

In the apology, it was acknowledged that a 2016 sample “was read in a manner that was negligent and in breach of duty”, and the case had been settled following mediation.

Last month, Taoiseach Micheál Martin made a State apology in the Dáil to Ms Carrick and her family over the failings.

Mr Martin said he hoped that the “genuine and heartfelt apology” would bring her and her family “some small solace.”

He told the Dáil that Ms Carrick was “badly let down,” and that her family was “going through the very worst of times because of the mistakes of others”.