A mum battling cervical cancer claims she was sent home with painkillers when she went to see her GP to complain about her symptoms.
Ashley Meehan has been told it is “extremely unlikely” the aggressive cancer can be cured and she is back in hospital after her white blood cell count dropped and her kidneys stopped functioning properly.
The 30-year-old is determined to make more memories with her partner Peter Potts, 39, and her four children and stepson as she faces a second bout of cancer, the Daily Record reports.
Mr Potts surprised her in hospital over the weekend when he visited with the children and proposed to her on the 12th anniversary of meeting each other.
Her one-year-old daughter Zara wore a shirt reading "Mummy will you marry daddy" and Ms Meehan, in her hospital bed, held her hands over her face, wiped away tears and said "yes".
Ms Meehan, a former nursery teacher from Clydebank, West Dunbartonshire, was diagnosed with cervical cancer in May last year.
She was declared cancer free by December after undergoing rounds of radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
But earlier this year she started to suffer "unbearable pains" in her bladder and legs.
She claims her GP at Clydebank Health Centre sent her home with morphine and other painkillers.
A few days later she couldn't take the pain any longer.
She twice went to A&E at Glasgow’s Queen Elizabeth University Hospital.
Ms Meehan claims she wasn't given any scans despite her history of cancer.
She went to Beatson Cancer Charity Centre in Glasgow for a second opinion last month and was given the devastating news that he cancer had returned.
The family believe her prognosis may have been better had she been diagnosed earlier.
Mr Potts said: “We’re not suggesting that had this second round of cancer been caught sooner, she’s definitely be able to survive it.
“But it’s frustrating to think that, had GPs not sent her home with painkillers, or had A&E doctors done a scan, we might have had a bit longer with Ashley.”
He added: “It’s so devastating.
“When we got the second diagnosis, we were shocked but still a bit positive because Ashley had got over cancer before.
“But then we were told it was extremely unlikely that she could be cured.”
As his fiancee battles the disease, Mr Potts has left his job in construction to help care for her and be a stay-at-home dad to children Niomi, 10, Leo, eight, Justin, six and one-year-old Zara, and his son Kyle, 13.
What is cervical cancer?
Cervical cancer is when abnormal cells in the lining of the cervix grow in an uncontrolled way.
The main symptom is unusual bleeding from the vagina.
Around 3,200 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer in the UK each year. That's around 9 cases diagnosed every day.
Finding changes in the cells through screening can help to prevent cancer developing.
Cervical cancer is more common in younger women. More than half of the cervical cancer cases in the UK each year are diagnosed in women under the age of 45.
Treatment depends on where in the cervix the cancer is, how big it is, whether it has spread anywhere else in the body and general health.
Usually surgery is needed or a combination of chemotherapy and radiotherapy (chemoradiotherapy).
A colposcopy is a simple procedure used to look at the cervix, the lower part of the womb at the top of the vagina.
It's often done if cervical screening finds abnormal cells in your cervix.
Mr Potts said: “Ashley has trouble walking and is quite weak, so between looking after her, running a home and seeing to the five children, it can be hard. And we don’t know which day will be Ashley’s last.
“It’s heartbreaking but Ashley wants to make every day count.”
Ms Meehan's friend Becky Garrett has set up a GoFundMe page to provide financial support to the family, raising more than £2,900 so far.
Mr Potts said: “The kids have never been abroad so Ashley would love to be able to do that or do up the garden so the kids can enjoy it."
A spokesman from NHS GGC said: “We understand this is a very difficult time for this patient and her family.
“We would be happy to meet Ashley to discuss her recent attendances at the emergency department and to offer an explanation about the treatment and advice given.”
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