‘What if it's my last Christmas?’ Vicky Phelan delayed US cancer trial to spend time with family

Vicky Phelan to offer insight into legal battle in new podcast with her solicitor Cian O’Carroll
‘What if it's my last Christmas?’ Vicky Phelan delayed US cancer trial to spend time with family

Vicky Phelan: 'I didn't really know what way this was going to go, that's unfortunately the position I'm in.'

A new podcast series from Cian O’Carroll Solicitors called ‘In conversation with Vicky Phelan’ will see the campaigner discuss her legal battle after her CervicalCheck misdiagnosis in a future episode while also following her ongoing cancer treatment in the US.

Speaking of her decision to undergo a cancer trial in America, Phelan says she could have started her treatment before Christmas but chose to spend the holiday with her family in Ireland instead.

“They would have happily accepted me before Christmas if I wanted to come over, but I decided I wanted to have my last Christmas at home before I came over here,” she says.

“I didn't really know what way this was going to go, that's unfortunately the position I'm in. If I came before Christmas, it would have been nice to get started sooner, but what if it was my last Christmas? They’re the things you have to ask yourself in my situation.” 

In the podcast, she reveals that her tumours had doubled in size by the time she moved to the US for treatment and two new tumours had formed.

It was definitely the time to make the move. 

O’Carroll first met Phelan in 2018 when she was looking for a solicitor to fight her case, which uncovered a widespread issue in CervicalCheck testing.

In the opening episode, O’Carroll describes the podcast as “a series of conversations” between two friends.

“Vicky and I discuss what went wrong in CervicalCheck how those fatal and life-changing mistakes happened and look at what Vicky has achieved since she became an advocate for change,” he says.

She says the support she received from Irish people at home and in the US has been “phenomenal” and the level of messages she received since appearing on The Late Late Show is unlike any she has experienced before.

“People flooded the show, literally, asking ‘how can we contact Vicky when she's away in America?’” 

Cian O'Carroll and Vicky Phelan in conversation
Cian O'Carroll and Vicky Phelan in conversation

 She set up an email address and says she received 3,500 emails in five weeks from people enquiring after her health, sending her song suggestions, offering daily prayers, and sharing little bits of news from home.

“I'm getting some lovely emails, there's some lovely stuff in there. How could you not feel good about yourself? I would read a good few of those every day, particularly if I'm having a bad day,” she says.

The podcast series will go on to examine how Phelan’s High Court case exposed a healthcare scandal in its next episode.

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