CervicalCheck: 'Beautiful lady taken too soon' as Trish Carrick dies at 51

ireland
Patricia 'Trish' Carrick.
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Neil Michael

Patricia Carrick, the woman Taoiseach Micheál Martin apologised to on behalf of the State because her cancer was missed by CervicalCheck, has died.

The 51-year-old, known as Trish to her family and friends, died surrounded by her family at their home in Galway.

The mother-of-four had returned there from hospital about a week ago.

By her side were her husband Damien, their son Ciarán, their daughters Ríoghna and Sorcha, and their youngest son Eoin.

Mr Carrick said this morning: “Trish passed away peacefully overnight.

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“She was comfortable throughout and is now at peace.”

Campaigner, Vicky Phelan tweeted her condolences to the Carrick family saying "another beautiful lady has been taken far too soon".

Earlier this month, Mr Martin had addressed her in a statement he read out to the Dáil.

State apology

She was in hospital at the time, and watched it on a tablet her husband had brought in for her to watch it on.

The couple cried when they saw Mr Martin, who had only been asked a few days beforehand to grant Ms Carrick her dying wish of a State apology in the Dáil, reading his statement out.

He said she had been "badly let down" and her family "is going through the very worst of times because of the mistakes of others".

And he said: "On behalf of the Government and on behalf of the nation, I offer my genuine and heartfelt apologies.

You have been failed.

It is understood a formal letter of apology — on top of an apology read out in court — was also issued to the family by hand from the HSE a short time before the Dáil apology.

Before last month’s High Court victory, Ms Carrick had had to fight for the smallest resource to help her — being placed, at one point, on a two-year waiting list for a specialist shower chair.

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This was because she was not entitled to the same care package as the 221+ group of CervicalCheck survivors identified in an audit process that stopped in mid-2018.

Her cancer diagnosis not only happened after this date, but it did not feature in a subsequent review of cases.

Court victory

She had sued after she discovered, with the help of cancer campaigner Vicky Phelan’s solicitor Cian O'Carroll and husband Mr Carrick, CervicalCheck misread a scan in 2016.

By the time her cancer was eventually diagnosed in July 2019, it was too late to do anything about it other than try and buy time with her family.

Last month, she won an unprecedented apology and an admission of negligence from the HSE and from the laboratory which missed her cancer.

Ms Carrick had been too ill to attend last month’s court victory, which saw her awarded €2.75 million.

But Mr Carrick was in the courtroom when counsel for the HSE Patrick Hanratty SC read out the apology on behalf of the HSE and the MedLab Pathology Ltd.

It stated: "The Health Service Executive and MedLab Pathology Ltd acknowledge the liquid-based cytology sample of May 31, 2016, was read in a manner that was negligent and in breach of duty.

“We wish to sincerely apologise that this occurred and for the consequences and distress that this has caused for you all.”

Mr Carrick, in an in-depth interview with the Irish Examiner afterwards, had said it was his and his dying wife’s wish that the State should apologise for what had happened to her.

In the general State apology he issued on October 22nd 2019 when he was then Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar had apologised for the “litany of failures” in how cervical screening had been operated.

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