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05th Jul 2018

Mum-of-five Emma Mhic Mhathúna reveals her cancer has spread to her brain

Emma Mhic Mhathúna spoke about the news on RTE Radio One's Today with Miriam O'Callaghan.

Keeley Ryan

“I’m not scared, just heartbroken.”

Terminally-ill Emma Mhic Mhathúna has told how she is “heartbroken” after discovering her cancer has spread to her brain.

The brave Kerry mum-of-five is one of the 221 women that have been impacted by the CervicalCheck sandal.

Ms Mhic Mhathúna wrote on Facebook last night [Wednesday, July 4]:


“I found out today that 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.”

She was diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2016, but given a terminal prognosis earlier this year after she found out a 2013 smear test that had incorrectly given her the all-clear was found to have shown signs of cancer.

Speaking on RTE Radio One’s Today With Miriam O’Callaghan, she said:

“I’m on edge at the moment, I found out yesterday, I was having a scan and then another to see how my scans are…

“My tumours are significantly bigger and it’s on the left side of my brain, the symptoms will be seizures, loss of speech, concentration, there will be a loss of words, so I am a bit upset, obviously.”

Ms Mhic Mhathúna added that as she also has Crohn’s disease, her treatment options were limited.

She said that the spread of the cancer to her brain will cause symptoms like seizures, loss of speech and concentration.

She continued:

“I am in the best of care, I have so many people in the HSE behind me, there’s no red tape there, it’s just very sad.

“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.”

She explained that while she has so many people around her and lending her support, she felt “isolated” as they couldn’t understand what she was going through.

Ms Mhic Mhathúna, who last week settle her case against the Health Service Executive and a US lab for €7.5 million, told how her situation is “so wrong” and she hopes no other family goes through it.

She added:

“The €7.5 million doesn’t make any differences to me.

“I just went in there and I wasn’t taking any nonsense because I wanted my children taken care of – every mouthguard and football boot adds up.”