In 2013, Emma Mhic Mhathúna was told that her cervical check was clear. It wasn’t and now the mother of five has been told that her delayed cancer diagnosis is terminal.
An Irish woman who was told that her delayed cervical cancer diagnosis is terminal has spoken about having to tell her five children that she is to die.
In 2013, Emma Mhic Mhathuna was told that her cervical check was normal but it wasn’t. The doctors returned to her in 2016 to tell her that the check was inaccurate and she has now developed terminal cancer because it was not caught in time.
“I learned this week that I’m dying and that the cancer is discovered in my bones and everything, so I have a test on Friday to see exactly how long I’ve left,” Mhic Mhathúna told Audrey Carville on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland.
'It hasn't hit me that I'm dying' - Emma Mhic Mhathúna speaks after terminal cancer diagnosis | https://t.co/Pi1tmGg05h pic.twitter.com/40WoGpBDn1— RTÉ News (@rtenews) May 10, 2018
“I hoped I’d be clear, but I had a feeling that I was... I had a feeling I had cancer again because I’d had it before. But I didn’t think it would be terminal.”
A mother of five, whose oldest daughter is just 15 years old, Mhic Mathúna’s father is now traveling from England to see his only daughter as she prepares herself and her children for her death.
“I’m crying thinking about it. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do because as a mother it’s my job to protect them and to keep the bad news away from them … I had to collect them from school early and tell them that I’m dying and it’s just a horrible thing to witness, to be honest, there’s so much pain in the house,” she said.
Having being told by her gynecologist that if her 2013 check results were accurate, she would not have developed cancer again, Mic Mhathúna called for a snap election while speaking with RTÉ’s Raidió na Gaeltachta, claiming that the Taoiseach and the head of the Irish Health Service Executive (HSE) did not know how to look after the people of Ireland.
Read more: 17 Irish women died because of false cervical exam tests
President Higgins will next week meet Emma Mhic Mhathúna, the mother of five who has been given a terminal cancer diagnosis despite being given a clear smear test in 2013. On Morning Ireland she appealed directly to the President as the “only person” could address the issue— Tony Connelly (@tconnellyRTE) May 10, 2018
“I’m dying when I don’t need to die. And my children are going to be without me, and I’m going to be without them,” she told RTÉ.
“I tried to do everything right, by, you know, breastfeeding, and being a full-time mum, and sacrificing, you know, my own life for them. I didn’t see it as a sacrifice and now I’m going to miss out. And I don’t even know if my little baby is going to remember me.
Still digesting the interview with Emma Mhic Mhathuna on @morningireland We take the smallest, most mundane daily tasks for granted. Often they're the most precious. No words to comfort her and her young family 💔— Lucinda Creighton (@LCreighton) May 10, 2018
“And what just makes this whole situation so sick is that the Government aren’t doing anything about it. And when it first broke out I was like ‘OK, well, the head of the HSE is surely going to do something’, and he didn’t. And then I looked to Simon Harris, I was thinking ‘Well surely the Minister for Health is going to step in and do something’, that’s why we give these people powers, and 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.
“And there are women that are dead and they’re not just any women, they’re people’s daughters and they’re mammies and all the children are in so much pain.”
Read more: Ireland’s bravest woman faces deadly cancer battle she should not be fighting
You can listen to her full interview with RTÉ’s Morning Ireland here:
Mic Mathúna’s interview was discussed in depth in the Dáil (Irish parliament) today as the government and HSE continue to battle against the fallout of the cervical check scandal. It recently emerged that 209 Irish women were inaccurately told their cervical checks were normal and that 17 of the women affected had since died of cancer.
Fianna Fáil’s Deputy Leader Dara Calleary said that the interview had “seared the soul of our country,” appealing to Finance and Public Expenditure Minister, Paschal Donohoe (who was taking Leaders’ Questions today) to show that the government was capable of dealing with it.
“We don’t need words, we don’t need promises, we don’t need shouting or roaring… we need action,” he said.
“It is a stain on all our doors, it is a stain on all of us,” added Labour’s Alan Kelly.