A CORK woman has described her distress at being mistakenly told she had a growth on a gland in her brain only to then find out doctors had been reading the wrong file.
Midleton native Carol Murray called Cork University Hospital a number of weeks ago to schedule routine scans and request a call from a doctor as she was feeling unwell.
Ms Murray was already one of the 221 women nationally who was impacted by the CervicalCheck controversy last year before the latest health scare.
A doctor called Ms Murray back and, upon hearing her symptoms, informed her it was caused by the growth on her pituitary gland, located in the brain.
“I asked what he meant because I didn’t know there was any issue with my pituitary gland,” explained Ms Murray.
“He said ‘oh you have a lesion or a growth on your pituitary gland but don’t worry because it’s benign’.
“At this stage, I’m a bit freaked out but at the same time, with everything that’s happened, I almost wasn’t surprised I hadn’t been told.”
A 33-year-old mother-of-two, Ms Murray’s cervical smear test, taken in 2010, had been read incorrectly.
She was eventually diagnosed with cervical cancer in July 2011, more than 12 months after the initial test should have resulted in follow-up tests.
“I fell through the cracks before so why couldn’t it happen again?” she asked.
“The doctor then told me I had an appointment with the specialist the following Tuesday, which was last week.
“It was the only thing that got me through the week, knowing I was going to meet a specialist,” she added.
“Then I realised that I hadn’t had a brain scan since June 2016, so I was anxious thinking a lot of things can develop in that time. I was really anxious.”
Ms Murray arrived at the hospital on Tuesday and was told she did not have an appointment as another Ms Murray was booked in instead, but that the diagnosis was still hers.
“I demanded to see my file because I didn’t know what was going on,” she said.
“The doctor rang me eventually and apologised, telling me it was the wrong file. I was hugely upset, I was in shock, numb and crying,” she added.
“I was delighted I didn’t have the growth but the unnecessary stress I went through because of the mix up was unreal.”