Vicky Phelan pulls out of Charlie Bird’s Croagh Patrick climb after health complications

ireland
Vicky Phelan Pulls Out Of Charlie Bird’s Croagh Patrick Climb After Health Complications Vicky Phelan Pulls Out Of Charlie Bird’s Croagh Patrick Climb After Health Complications
The cervical cancer campaigner said she has never been so sick or in so much pain as during the last fortnight. Photo: Vicky Phelan/Twitter.
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Olivia Kelleher

Cervical cancer campaigner Vicky Phelan is back home after spending two weeks in the Milford Care Centre in Co Limerick recovering from complications which occurred during her radiotherapy treatment.

Ms Phelan said she had been forced to make the "hard decision" to withdraw from participating in RTÉ journalist Charlie Bird’s climb of Croagh Patrick in April.

In a post on her Vicky’s Tribe page, the Kilkenny native said that she has never been so sick or in so much pain as during the last fortnight.

“The radiotherapy increased the amount of pain I was in and also incapacitated me leaving me unable to walk without assistance. I am only now, in the past few days able to walk without either a 4-wheeler or a Zimmer frame," she wrote.

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“Walking long distances is still beyond me but I hope I will get there again. I only finished my last session of radiotherapy last Monday and it can take a couple of weeks for the effects to be felt so I am really hoping that I will be moving around a bit more freely in a couple of weeks time but I am also acutely aware that I may never regain what I had.”

Hard decision

Ms Phelan announced that she has had to make the “hard decision” to withdraw from climbing Croagh Patrick next month.

“I am simply not well enough either physically or mentally. The past few weeks have really knocked the stuffing out of me and I need to focus on just getting well again. I have already been in touch with Charlie and he has been great about it.”

She added that she has also decided to “pull back” from posting on social media.

“I need to focus on spending time with my family and friends. I hope that people understand. Unfortunately, my condition has become unpredictable and is impacting more and more on my everyday life. Thank you ALL for your continued support.”

Ms Phelan was diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2014 but was given the all-clear after prolonged and intense treatment.

However, in 2018 she was informed that an audit carried out by CervicalCheck found that her 2011 smear test had been reported as a false negative.

Within weeks a CT scan revealed the cancer had returned. The diagnosis was terminal. She went public with what had occurred and her efforts sparked a debate on the treatment and care of cancer patients in Ireland.

Ms Phelan documented her journey through life in her award-winning best-selling book "Overcoming."

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