CERVICAL Cancer whistleblower, Vicky Phelan, is the subject of a new film which documents her fight for the rights of women who were misdiagnosed in the Cervical Check screening programme.
Directed by filmmaker Sasha King, ‘Vicky’ has been nominated for a Human Rights on Film Award at the Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival.
When the Limerick mother-of-two went for a routine smear test in 2011 she was told her results were normal.
She was diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2014, and later discovered that when her 2011 test was rechecked in an audit, it showed that she already had cancer at that point.
A further 221 women were found to have had heir tests misread. Some of them had already died when this information came to light.
After seeing footage of Vicky emerging from the High Court, having refused to sign a gagging order about her multi-million settlement, Ms King decided to contact her about making the film.
“I felt a huge responsibility to tell the story as it was unfolding. There was an awful lot to capture,” director Sasha King said in an interview with The Journal online news site.
“I think most people were really shocked by the story and immediately drawn to Vicky,” the director said.
“She was a whistleblower. She was asked to sign a non-disclosure agreement and she said no because she had an idea, an inkling, that there were more women involved.”
The film features shots of Vicky at her seaside holiday home. “That is where she goes to get peace and put things in perspective,” Ms King said.