'She put up one hell of a fight for her life' - man feels 'robbed' after losing wife to cervical cancer

A Kildare man who lost his wife to cervical cancer has said he feels "robbed".

John's wife died of cervical cancer on April 7, 2009, and he said "she was putting up one hell of a fight for her life".

Last week, he received a call asking him to come to Tallaght Hospital to discuss the results that had shown up on one of his late wife's smear tests.

This morning on RTÉ Radio One's 'Today with Sean O'Rourke' programme, John told Sean that in 2009 the test came back as being all clear, and now he was being told that it actually was not.

In a previous test, John's wife had a test that did show abnormalities which resulted in her having a lletz procedure.

In January 2009, John's wife had a post-pregnancy smear test which showed as all clear.

In May 2009, she began to hemorrhage on a holiday. When they returned from holiday, they visited their GP to see what had happened.

During the summer, they waited on a colposcopy, but in September she hemorrhaged so bad that she was admitted to hospital. She had collapsed and lost a lot of blood.

In December 2009, John and his wife went to Tallaght hospital where she was told that there was a tumour. She lived 16 months after her diagnosis.

John said: "We tried to remain positive over the Christmas period in 2009."

Her gynaecologist told her that she was not going to die.

She was told that treatment would start straight away in January, "and so began the battle then", John said.

Treatment actually did not start until March, and John said: "She just gradually got worse... she was in constant pain, never stopped bleeding."

They had been told that her chances of living were 70:30 for living with Stage 2B cancer.

As a mother of five children, John said it was horrific that the kids would ask "if their mam was going to die".

John told Sean about how she worried about not being remembered.

She said 'I'm not going to be around, is he going to remember me?'

He said: "And the thing is, he doesn't remember her, he was only two when she passed."

Even though he doesn't remember her, their son who was only two tells John that he misses his mum.

John gets two cards a year - one for father's day, the other for mothers day. He is now nine years of age.

John said: "I feel anger, I have a constant sense of being robbed."

He went on to say that Tony O'Brien is incompetent and that he should be removed immediately, saying: "there's going to be more devastating news as the rest of the year goes on".

John's solicitor, Damien Tansey, spoke on the programme saying that they will be suing the HSE, the entity operating the cervical smear programme and the lab in the US.

You can listen to the full interview below.


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