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Dublin: 4 °C Monday 21 October, 2019

'I need to prioritise my health': Vicky Phelan to take step back from CervicalCheck campaigning

Phelan said today that she has been “very ill” over the past couple of weeks.

Vicky Phelan
Vicky Phelan
Image: Leah Farrell via

VICKY PHELAN HAS said she plans to pull back from campaigning about the CervicalCheck scandal to focus on her health and family. 

In a series of tweets earlier today, Phelan announced that she has been “very ill” over the past couple of weeks and that she spent almost a week in hospital. 

“It was scary but I am ok again and a CT scan has revealed that my cancer has not spread,” Phelan wrote. 

She said there is “no explanation for what made me so ill so they have put it down to a viral infection”. 

“My time in hospital has taught me some valuable lessons, mainly that I need to pull back from campaigning so heavily and focus on my health and my two young children,” she said. 

Phelan (44) was instrumental in exposing the CervicalCheck controversy, after launching a High Court case against a US laboratory over incorrect smear test results from 2011.

She has since campaigned continuously for hundreds of more women impacted by the health scandal. 

In late 2018, Phelan and fellow survivor Lorraine Walsh and Stephen Teap whose wife Irene died from the disease established the 221+ support group in order to help the women and their families affected by CervicalCheck scandal.

“I will still use my voice to campaign and to contribute to the conversation around women’s health but I will be doing it on my terms,” Phelan wrote today. 

“I don’t know what lies ahead, so I need to prioritise my health and my family above all else,” she said. 

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