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Dermot & Dave

'Overcoming' With Vicky Phelan

"When you're backed into a corner and you've no other option but death, you'll do whatever it takes"...
Stewart Griffin
Stewart Griffin

12:53 PM - 21 Nov 2019



Dermot & Dave

'Overcoming' With Vicky Phelan

Stewart Griffin
Stewart Griffin

12:53 PM - 21 Nov 2019

Listen to this episode



"When you're backed into a corner and you've no other option but death, you'll do whatever it takes"

Vicky Phelan is a lady who's name will echo throughout theĀ future generations of this country for what she has done, and continues to do, for the women of Ireland.

But her courage and resilience were evident long before the CervicalCheck scandal reared its ugly head.

A couple of months back, Vicky released her book 'Overcoming: A Memoir' that shares her remarkable personal story, from a life-threatening accident at the age of 19 through to motherhood, a battle with depression, the cancer scandal and the ensuing detective-like scrutiny of events that led the charge for her history-making legal action.

Vicky joined Dermot and Dave to guide us through the process of her writing and explain why she strives to look on the bright side of life .

The 45-year-old starts by saying, "I would have always kept journals over the years...because I couldn't afford counselling". She admits to finding it very therapeutic, "once I dumped it onto a page I felt it was just kinda gone".

Not only was it a form of healing for her, she hopes it will also act as an explanation for her children Amelia and Darragh in the future, "when I started last year I didn't know if I'd be here, that's the reality. I was doing it for the kids so that they know stuff about me I mightn't have had the chance to tell them".

One of the reasons I wanted to write the book was to show people...I think people had this kind of feeling that I'm some kind of Superwoman, I'm not. I have dealt with things very badly at times

The campaigner also reveals the harrowing details of that car crash she had in France (where her boyfriend died and she received catastrophic injuries) and her daughter being severely burned in an accident at home seven years ago.

When asked what she thought of Leo Varadkar's apology, Phelan says, "I wasn't really invested in the apology myself because I suppose myself, Stephen Teap and Lorraine Walsh, the other two patient advocates, we've done so much work over the past 18 months ourselves that that has helped me get over the anger and do something about it".

It's amazing - even through more hardship than any one person should ever have to experience, Vicky still has a wicked sense of humour, oozes positivity and fights for what is right.

Overcoming couldn't be any more the perfect title for her memoir and is fully deserved of its An Post Irish Book Award.

Here's to a very Happy Christmas to her and her family in New Zealand this December and a happy 2020. Her brother Robbie owes her one for getting a shout out from Noni.

Check out Vicky's chat in full by pressing the play button on screen.

 


Read more about

Cancer Dermot And Dave Overcoming Vicky Phelan Wellbeing Writing

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