high hopes | 

Brave Lynsey Bennett arrives in Mexico where she hopes cancer clinic will help save her life

Lynsey Bennett has arrived in Mexico for treatment

Eugene Masterson

BRAVE Longford woman Lynsey Bennett has safely arrived in Mexico, where she hopes a clinic there will help save her life.

Lynsey is now in Cancun and will soon start pioneering treatment in a specialised hospital.

The 32-year-old and her pal Martin Guilfoyle flew into Mexico city from connecting flights from Dublin and had an overland 30-hour drive before settling into their hotel in the seaside city of Cancun.

She said that the ‘hope for cancer clinic’ hotel is 'not too far' of a walking distance from her hotel.

Lynsey also stressed that she was told by her driver that Cancun is very safe.

“Because they rely on their tourism so much to survive, that it’s actually very very safe in Cancun,” she confirms. “We have been treated like absolute royalty.”

Lynsey last week settled her High Court action over the alleged misinterpretation of her cervical smear slides.

The single mum has planned her own funeral, and has set up a trust fund for her two daughters Zoe (12) and Hailee (7).

Reverend Simon Scott has helped Lynsey plan her funeral, in which she wants Dermot Kennedy’s version of the Van Morrison song Days Like This played at it.

“He sat there writing pages and pages of everything that I wanted said and done and he had no problem,” she tells Sundayworld.com. “I had said if anything happened me and if we were still in Covid times, making sure I would be OK, He said he ‘absolutely’, he would link in and do everything that he had to do. He supported my friends and I sent them messages and phoned them and checked in with them, and honestly he is just a remarkable man.”

The dignified young woman manages to join her services every weekend despite all that is going on in her life.

“So we have online services, we all go onto zoom calls,” she notes. “Sometimes you might call out the prayers or the answers to the prayers and then he had asked me just to use some videos, that would be you tubes of some of the prayers.”

She believes in the power or prayer.

““I believe that everybody when they are in a time of need, or someone that they love is in a time of need,” she reflects.

“The amount of people who have said that they are praying for me and I’m so grateful and I so appreciate that, it’s just an amazing thing that somebody is willing to take, no matter what their religion is or faith is, and the amount of people who will say ‘I’m not religious but I’m praying for you’, and I just think its gives people some hope and its so comforting people knowing that.”

Asked how she can believe in a God that oversees tragedies that befall the likes of her, she pauses and then says: “I don’t really go into thoughts like that. I have never ever once turned around and said ‘why me?’. I’ve often said ‘sure why not me?’.

“I think that sometimes things happen and you are maybe that you are given it because you need to help other people. I think people learn from people’s pain and people’s misfortune, so that’s how I view it. I don’t go into the ‘why me’ and the negative thoughts, I try to stay away from that as much as I can.”

Lynsey has met other women affected by the cervical smear test scandal, including Vicky Phelan.

“I have actually met Vicky in person and we do send messages every so often and I have met loads of the other women,” she confirms. “I have had huge support and phone calls and messages. I had gone to a few of the meetings, but I had spoken up because I had such a horrendous experience at my RCOG (Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists) meeting, so people had reached out to me and they have been so amazing.”

She is accompanied during her stay in Mexico by Spin FM radio presenter Martin Guilfoyle.

“I have known Martin for the last couple of years, he ended up covering to support me for one of my appointments,” he recalls. “He had said when I told him I was sick again that if there was anything he could do just ask.

“One of the days in November I was going to a new hospital to a new consultant and didn’t really want to go to the appointment alone, and he was upset listening to me explaining all that happened. I just mentioned it to him I was going to Mexico and that I could actually bring a companion, he said that he would never let me go to an appointment on my own again and said ‘I’m going to ask work can I go’.”

Lynsey appeared on RTE’s First Dates show last year, and was paired with a local lad called Liam.

“We went for a walk in Longford park run, we also had a cuppa in the Longford Arms and we also had another meeting as well,” she smiles. “But it wasn’t romantic. It was such a lovely date and Liam had even messaged me after the court case when it was on the news and just saying all the best. I was so grateful that I got to have such a lovely experience on First Dates and we can truly remain friends because he isn’t too far down the road.

Online dating is something that’s last on her list.

“For me a relationship is just not possible with what my prognosis is and the fact you can’t meet anyone,” she stresses.

“But all my friends know that two years ago there was someone that came into my life that has always stayed around. That means an awful lot to me and even though we are not being romantic, he is a great support to have. His name is Ted and it would be hard to find someone who is as good a man as he is.”

Lynsey also chuckles when told she could pass for a Scandanavian model, she’s so good looking.

“Everybody says that,” she chortles. “One time I went to Andrea Roche’s open day. We got some social pictures, but it never went any further. I’m always asked how long am I living in Ireland, and I always say ‘since 1988’.”

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