“I feel anger, I have a constant sense of being robbed,” John said.
Speaking on RTÉ radio yesterday, the father-of-five from Co Kildare, said he received a phone call last Monday asking him to come to Tallaght Hospital “to discuss one of my wife’s smear test results”.
He was told a test that returned a normal result in 2009 had in fact contained cancer warning signs. He was told this had been identified in a 2016 audit.
When the family returned home they went to their GP and John’s wife was referred for a colposcopy. She waited six months.
In September, she haemorrhaged so badly, that one day she collapsed and lost consciousness. She was admitted to Portlaoise Hospital but discharged the following day because her blood count had improved. John’s wife subsequently contacted the hospital to inquire about the colposcopy delay — only to be told they no longer did colposcopy.
John said his wife’s gynaecological nurse contacted Tallaght Hospital and a consultant agreed to see her within days.
On December 16, 2009, John, his wife, and their baby attended Tallaght where the gynaecologist discovered a 6cm tumour. At that stage she was told she had a 70% chance of survival and that she would begin treatment after Christmas. In fact it was March before treatment began.
“That time was devastating. We tried to remain positive over Christmas. We had five children and the youngest was oblivious,” John said.
John’s wife lived for 16 months post-diagnosis — she died on April 7, 2011 — and put up “one hell of a fight for her life” even though she was in tremendous pain and never stopped bleeding and spent half of the 16 months in hospital.
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Source: Irish Examiner