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Lynsey Bennett: 'I plan to try and stay here for as long as I can. Absolutely'

Lynsey Bennett settled a case with the HSE earlier this week over the alleged misinterpretation of her cervical smear slides.

The Late Late Show / YouTube

A WOMAN WHO is seriously ill with cervical cancer, and this week settled her case against the HSE, has said that she has “bigger battles to fight” after the State refused to admit liability in her case.

Appearing on RTÉ on last night’s The Late Late Show, Lynsey Bennett encouraged women to go for their smear tests and said she didn’t have the choice of waiting around for the upcoming CervicalCheck Tribunal to receive an apology or compensation.

She said she was not “delusional but hopeful” regarding her current situation.

“I’m trying to have backup plans for treatment to try and stay alive,” she said. “I’m trying to find ways into finding everything. I plan to try and stay here for as long as I can. Absolutely.”

Ms Bennett (32), who has two young daughters, had four smear tests between 2010 and 2016 but each time was told they were negative.

After her last smear test in 2016, she was told no abnormalities were found and she would be called for routine testing in three years time.

Eleven months later she went to her GP with bleeding, and in January 2017 she was diagnosed with advanced cervical cancer, requiring a hysterectomy, according to RTÉ

In 2018, her cancer returned and she is now seriously ill.

Speaking at Thursday’s NPHET briefing, chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan said he has “huge regret” and “enormous sympathy” for the women affected by CervicalCheck and said that he “of course” has sympathy for the women affected.

Asked he would like to personally apologise, Dr Holohan said that the State and Taoiseach have apologised.

“A very significant harm has been done to people who have had the experience over the course of the last number of years. There was very significant hurt of those individuals, it was investigated in great detail,” he said.

Dr Holohan added that the “failure” at the centre of the scandal “should have not happened”.

Speaking to Ryan Tubridy last night, Ms Bennett said that the “magic word seems to be ‘deep regret’” from the State and government when it came to her case and cases like hers. 

“I find it kind of funny,” she said. “Growing up, for me, sorry is the word that you’re supposed to say, and why you’re saying sorry.

What can I do. I can only control myself. I cannot control how other people act. And I can’t let it bring me down. I have bigger battles to fight. 

She said she received a phone call from the Taoiseach on the matter. But Ms Bennett added she was surprised at comments made by Micheál Martin on Prime Time regarding the upcoming CervicalCheck Tribunal. 

She said she was left with no choice but to go to court, given her situation. 

The mother-of-two’s appearance on the Late Late provoked a strong response on social media, with many expressing their well wishes and admiration. 

With reporting from Cónal Thomas

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