MAKING A STAND A section of the crowd at the recent Standing 4 Women protest in Market Square in Castlebar. Pic: Alison Laredo
STANDING 4 Women, the campaign to support women embroiled in the cervical smear scandal, has revealed that at least two Co Mayo women are among the 209 who were given false smear test results. Spokeswoman for the Mayo branch of the campaign, Tara Bleeks has confirmed that one of these women, Marian Deasy, has bravely come forward to speak out on the scandal, despite the fact that she tragically lost her son, Lorcan, earlier this year in a workplace accident.
“Marian Deasy approached me at the demonstration in Castlebar, she stood in front of me shaking and told me she was one of the 209 women that I had been talking about. We held each other for ages and she told me how she had only just lost her beloved son Lorcan in a tragic work accident in January of this year. Marian was already suffering the unimaginable loss of her son when she was called in by her gynaecologist and told that her 2009 and 2010 smear screening had both been misread. Her 2010 smear came back as NAD (no abnormality detected). Upon review the smear was classified as HSL (high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion). Subsequently she developed cervical cancer and underwent a hysterectomy,” Tara Bleeks said.
“For too long this information was kept from Marian and other women like her,” Ms Bleeks continued. “Had her smears been correct there is a high possibility that she would not have developed cancer. She still awaits her medical records and until she heard about the Standing 4 Women Campaign she felt completely alone and scared. Marian has strength she never knew she could have and we will be with her every step of the way in her fight for redress.”
IRONICALLY, back in November 2013, Marian Deasy spoke to The Mayo News about her cervical cancer diagnosis the previous May. It was part of a feature about the wonderful work done by Rock Rose House, Mayo’s Cancer Support Centre in Castlebar.
Tellingly, this is what she said back then: “In May 2012 I was diagnosed with cervical cancer. I had to wait then until August for my surgery and I was really lucky to get an early diagnosis because I didn’t need any treatment. With all types of cancer it is the early diagnosis that is key. It was totally fortunate. I had no symptoms or anything, just a very good GP.”
She said she had her surgery by August 20 and had ‘never looked back’.
“It went excellently. I just have to keep an eye on things and go to check-ups,” she said.