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Emma Mhic Mhathúna: Mum misdiagnosed in smear test scandal 'has brain cancer'

37-year-old mother-of-five Emma Mhic Mhathúna is terminally ill with cancer after being given an incorrect cervical smear test result. Picture from RTÉ
John Monaghan

EMMA Mhic Mhathúna, who was given a wrong cervical smear test result, has said that cancer has now spread to her brain.

In 2013, the mother-of-five from Co Kerry was told that assessments had come back as clear, but earlier this year she was informed she was terminally ill with cancer.

Last week, the 37-year-old single mother reached a €7.5 million settlement with the Health Service Executive (HSE) over the incorrect results.

She is one of 221 women who received the wrong results.

Ms Mhic Mhathúna wrote on her Facebook page on Wednesday: "I found out today the cancer has spread to my brain, I'm not scared just heartbroken. I love my life, my children and all of you my new found friends."

In an interview on RTÉ yesterday, she said her treatment options were limited due to her Crohn's disease.

"My tumours have become significantly bigger and are now on the left side of my brain. The symptoms will be seizures and loss of speech," she said.

"Someone asked me the other day am I afraid of dying and I’m not, because I have my faith.

"But it’s the not knowing and trying to explain to my kids what to do if I have a seizure. I don’t like the unpredictability of it all.

"I have no control over it – in some ways I just wish it was all over," added Ms Mhic Mhathúna.

It has also emerged that an independent review into more than 3,000 cervical smear checks has not yet started despite previous expectations that it would be finished by the start of June.

The scandal led to the resignation in May of the head of the HSE, Tony O'Brien.

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