Grown apart | 

CervicalCheck campaigner Vicky Phelan and husband remain 'great friends' despite marriage break-up

'We made a decision the kids have enough on their plate without their parents separating, but we're no longer together as a couple'

Vicky Phelan

Neil Fetherstonhaugh

CervicalCheck campaigner Vicky Phelan has revealed how despite the break-up of her marriage, herself and her husband still live together as they remain “great friends”.

Vicky who has shares the ups and downs of her journey fighting cancer with her social media followers, separated from her husband Jim back in 2017.

But the pair still share a home in Kilkenny together in order to support their daughter, Amelia (16) and son Darragh (10).

Speaking about the break-up of her marriage, Vicky said they had “grown apart” but were still “great friends”.

"We made a decision the kids have enough on their plate without their parents separating, but we're no longer together as a couple," she explained.

She added: “One of my friends is a psychotherapist, and she said: 'As long as you're getting on, there's no need to change your situation because the kids are always happier in a home with two parents.'"

Last week Vicky took to Instagram to share the dreaded news that her treatment as part of a clinical trial in America was unsuccessful.

The mother-of-two revealed on Thursday morning that she has returned to the States after receiving "bad news" from her doctors.

She said: “My sincerest apologies to all my followers for my hiatus from social media but I really needed to take a break from it all for two reasons: I wanted to focus on spending my time at home with my kids and my family and friends. I needed to get my head around some bad news following my last scan on July 6.

“I am back in the States since Sunday evening and met with my doctor yesterday (Tuesday) to discuss a plan going forward...

“Basically, my team are not seeing the results that they would like and think it would be best if I come off my current trial and start on a new (but similar) trial which has just started enrolling patients on it this week.

“And so, following a LOT of thinking over the past month I decided after yesterday's meeting and results from my last scan which showed growth in two of my tumours, that I would move to this new clinical trial and give it a shot.”

Vicky had only returned to Ireland after months in the US in early July, hoping to spend more time at home with her children.

She said: “It was so much harder coming back this time than when I came over in January.

“I will just take it one day at a time so please bear with me.”

Vicky’s battles have generated a lot of support with one well-known poet living in Galway even being moved to pen a tribute to her as she resumes life-saving treatment in the US.

Rye Aker who arrived from Europe in Galway last year to document the city’s year as the European Capital of Culture, turned his focus to Vicky Phelan, saying that as she lands in America, "it is time for us all to be her flatmates again"

In a post online, Mr Aker published a long poem about her while "sending much love and my words".

The poem opens: "The new girl moved in next door. From Ireland. And four million Irish flatmates with her, with their arragh go on at the end of each day. Asking her 'what's the craic?'."

The second verse describes Vicky as "beautiful and inspirational", with flatmates who love her "because they know one day when history sits down to write its wrongs" and as readers look up at the Irish sunlight, "there will be people who live because Vicky does".

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