The husband of a woman who died of cervical cancer not knowing that her smear tests were incorrect, leaving two young sons behind, has said he was "absolutely furious, I just was raging on the phone, I was overwhelmed with anger" when he was informed in a call from the HSE last Tuesday.
He added: "I couldn't believe the way I was contacted."
Mr Teap said his wife Irene, from Carrigaline, Co Cork, was diagnosed with stage two cancer in 2015 and died on July 26 last year after two false negative tests in 2010 and 2013. She was one of 17 women who died having received the incorrect results. Only two were informed about the incorrect results.
Stephen, a corporate sales manager at Volvo Cars, said regardless of who is personally responsible HSE boss Tony O’Brien should step down with immediate effect. He said at the weekend: "I want Tony O’Brien gone and to help get rid of the panic that’s out there. Tony O’Brien cannot remain on while an investigation into Cervical Check takes place."
Speraking to ray D'Arcy this afternoon, Stephen said he received a call from the HSE last Tuesday, and "froze" when he saw the number coming through. Irene worked in the HSE in clerical admin so he recognised the number. Stephen said "a very nervous lady" was on the other end of the call. He said that he felt sorry for her as "this is clearly a very, very difficult call" to make.
A meeting with Irene's consultant was arranged for last Thursday evening at 7.30pm. He told Ray that following that meeting, it was "essentially goodbye and God bless, get out of here now, I've delivered the news. There was absolutely no support services or anything offered."
During that meeting, Stephen said the clinician confirmed that in his wife's 2010 audited test results, pre-cancerous cells were detected. In the audited 2013 results, cancer was detected. Stephen told Ray that Irene's audited results were sent out to the consultant on July 3 last year, three weeks before she died, but the results were never shared with her.
'Clearly no one has control over this situation, " he said. "The Government don't. The HSE don't."
Stephen and Irene were together 16 years, and had two boys together - Oscar (5) and Noah (3). Stephen said today that he wanted to make their story public because he didn't want to be referred to as one of the 17 anymore.
"I wanted people to see that there are real people at the end of this, there are two little boys at the end of this, and there was a loving mom that didn't want to leave at the end of this as well," he said.
He wants to be able to tell Oscar and Noah in years to come that he had fought for accountability - like Irene would have.
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