Irish mum with terminal cervical cancer speaks out after incorrect smear test said she was healthy

Irish mum with terminal cervical cancer speaks out after incorrect smear test said she was healthy

AN Irish mother-of-five who was diagnosed with cancer after receiving an incorrect smear test result has revealed that her illness is terminal.

Emma Ní Mhathúna, 37, received the terrible news this week and says her family is "devastated".

Speaking to RTÉ Radio 1′s Morning Ireland today, Emma said: “I’ve been told I’m dying … I’m dying and I don’t need to be.

"I’m only 37 … this isn’t fair.”

The Co. Kerry native previously underwent treatment for cervical cancer and had received the all-clear last month, but had been feeling unwell recently and feared the illness had returned.


“I had a feeling I had cancer because I’d had it before, but I didn’t think it’d be terminal," she said.

Emma explained that telling her children she was dying was "the hardest thing I've ever had to do".

She added: "I had to collect them from school early and tell them that I’m dying. It’s a horrible thing to witness to be honest, there’s so much pain in the house.

"My children are going to be without me and I’m going to be without them."

Emma had been undergoing smear tests every three years and received an incorrect result in 2013 which falsely concluded she was cancer-free.

In 2016, she was diagnosed with cervical cancer for the first time.


“The test [in 2013] said that I was healthy when I wasn’t and because of that I actually developed cancer and now I’m dying.”

It comes as the cervical cancer screening controversy in Ireland continues to worsen, after dying mum Vicky Whelan settled a High Court action against the HSE and Clinical Pathology Laboratories for €2.5 million over incorrect smear test results from 2011.

Health Minister Simon Harris has launched an inquiry with at least 17 women thought to have died in similar circumstances.

Emma added: "I tried to do everything right … I don’t even know if my little baby is going to remember me.

“Women are dead, they’re people’s daughters and they’re mammies, all the children are in so much pain … no amount of money can replace this.”