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CervicalCheck Scandal: Terminally ill Lynsey Bennett gives moving speech outside the Four Courts after settling her case against the HSE

The single mother now wants to focus on “staying alive for as long as [she] can” for her two young daughters.


by Lauren Heskin
04th Feb 2021

RTÉ

Lynsey Bennett

 

Today is World Cancer Day and sadly we’re still witnessing the horrific repercussions of Ireland’s smear tests, where 206 women had developed cervical cancer after their smear tests showed up as false negatives.

With vanguard activist Vicky Phelan in the USA for an experimental treatment to rid her body of eleven tumours since her missed misdiagnosis of cervical cancer, yesterday Lynsey Bennet, a 32-year-old woman from co Longford with cervical cancer settled her case against the HSE in the hopes of giving her family some financial security.

Putting the case behind her, she said, “I can now focus on my own fight to stay alive for as long as I can.”

Her already brimming with emotion, it spilt over when she spoke of her two daughters Zoe (12) and Hailee (7). She said she hoped that the settlement would be enough to give them financial security, “that even with me not here to guide you, you can both pursue your dreams.”

Misdiagnosis

Ms. Bennett had a smear test in 2010 that came back normal. In 2013, a smear test showed some abnormalities but a third smear test came up normal. A final fourth smear test in 2016 also came back clear but eleven months later she was admitted to hospital with complaints of bleeding. In 2017 she was diagnosed with invasive cervical cancer. Ms Bennett had a hysterectomy and other surgeries but her cancer recurred in March 2018. She now has Stage 4 terminal cancer.

As she prepared for the trial last December, she released an emotional video stating how Government have failed cervical cancer patients and continue to fail them through the court system.


While the HSE denied claims that they failed to correctly report her diagnosis, CervicalCheck CEO Fiona Murphy wrote a letter to Ms Bennet “to express our deep regret to you and your family,” which was read out in court.

Anger

A smear test is recommended every three years, but Ms Bennett had four tests in six years, none of which diagnosed her cancer. While she expressed relief that the case was now closed, the predominant feeling of others has been one of anger and disgust. Anger that a drawn-out trial was made necessary to assure the financial future of a woman’s children.

Considering the very recent apology from Government regarding the Women and Baby Homes and the “assurances” of a redress scheme, promises made in 2018 that Government “don’t want to see the HSE in court against these women” have been proven worthless just three years later.

 

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