THE ashes of Irene Teap, who died of cervical cancer not knowing her smear tests were incorrect, were spread in Allihies on the Beara peninsula, where her grandmother came from, her husband said this week.
Carrigaline-based Stephen Teap said the family went there every June, and that he’ll make the journey with their sons Oscar (5) and Noah (3) again this year, though sadly, without Irene.
Irene was one of 17 women who died from cervical cancer having received incorrect smear test results.
She lost her battle last July 26th at the age of 35, having got false negative test results in 2010 and 2013.
Speaking on the Ray D’Arcy Show on Radio 1 this week, Stephen said that Irene’s audited results were sent to the consultant on July 3rd last year, three weeks before she died, but were not shared with her.
He only found out himself in a phonecall from the HSE last Tuesday, which was followed by a meeting with her consultant last Thursday, where it was confirmed that in his wife’s 2010 audited test results, pre-cancerous cells were detected and in audited 2013 results, cancer was detected. ‘If either one of those were correctly read, Irene would be with us today,’ he told Ray.
He said he was overwhelmed with anger, and made their story public as he didn’t want Irene to be referred simply as ‘one of the 17’.
Irene catalogued much of her illness on her blog ‘Fierce and Fighting’ including taking her boys to Disneyland Paris two months before she died.
Dr Oriel Perrott of Clonakilty Medical Clinic told The Southern Star this week that the clinic was receiving an average of six to 10 calls from anxious women every day since the scandal broke.
‘They mainly want to know if they need a repeat smear and the answer is, we don’t know. The question has to be asked, “what’s the point of a repeat smear, if it’s done by the same labs?” All we can do is take their names and numbers for when we get clear guidelines from the HSE,’ said Dr Perrott.
Meanwhile, the Irish Cancer Society has announced additional counselling sessions for women directly affected by the controversy, including at the Cork ARC Bantry support house.