Outspoken cancer patient Jackie Crowe dies at 50

A cancer victim who spoke out three weeks ago against health service cuts has died.

Outspoken cancer patient Jackie Crowe dies at 50

Jackie Crowe, aged 50, of Gallowsfield, Tralee, Co Kerry, had campaigned against the cuts since she was diagnosed with terminal neuroendocrine tumours two years ago.

On June 24, she appeared on the TV3 show The People’s Debate, presented by Vincent Browne and recorded in Killarney. She had told of the situation in the oncology unit at Kerry General Hospital, Tralee.

Ms Crowe said the unit had been smaller than her kitchen and more services were needed in the hospital.

“I hope someone will help us,” she urged.

The mother of two also said it had taken her a year to get the help she needed in a specialist unit at St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin.

“You must do your own homework when you get cancer. It’s a shame,” she told the audience. There was a brilliant oncology team at Kerry General Hospital, but far more resources were needed, she had said.

Ms Crowe said she was angry cutbacks had resulted in a lack of proper care.

“No one knows the hell you go through when you get the diagnosis,” she said.

Last year, she related her story in a TV3 documentary.

Two years prior to being diagnosed, she was made redundant, which excacerbated her a difficult financial situation.

She fell behind with her mortgage and, in an attempt to meet the payments, stopped paying her life assurance policy, unaware of the uncertain future she would face due to her illness.

“If my story stops just one other person dropping their life assurance or highlights just how cutbacks are affecting our health service, then I’ll be happy if that’s part of the legacy I leave behind,” she said.

She found herself pulling back from those nearest to her “because the hurt in their eyes reminds me that I’m dying. However, mainly I’m doing it because they have been through so much, too much, this last few years.”

Ms Crowe’s remains will be removed from Gleasure Funeral Home, Tralee, to St Mary’s Church, Ballyheigue, at 6.15pm today. A funeral Mass will take place at 12pm tomorrow, followed by a private cremation.

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