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Help Sara Heal

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In the middle of last year I got a phone call from my daughter Sara with the most devastating news. She had been diagnosed with stage 2b Cervical cancer. My wife and I had just made plans to retire so we were free to go and help. We packed up in Bournemouth and headed to Peebles in the Scottish borders. Over that Summer and into Autumn while my wife looked after our grandchildren, I drove Sara daily into Edinburgh for radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatments. The treatment knocked her for six but we knew that it would work. It just had to.
After it was all done we left her to recuperate with her husband and kids to look after her. We just had to wait for the all clear a few months down the line.

We returned to our retirement plans but in March this year we got the worst news ever. The tumour had returned even more aggressively than before. We rushed back North to do what we could.

The only treatment left at this stage for Sara was an major ten hour operation called a 'pelvic exenteration ' the procedure is, as follows...

Pelvic exenteration is a salvage procedure performed for centrally recurrent gynecologic cancers. To a greater or lesser degree, the procedure involves en bloc resection of all pelvic structures, including the uterus, cervix, vagina, bladder, and rectum.

The operation was carried out at the Western General in Edinburgh and seemed to go well. However, there were some complications and infections so Sara spent pretty much all summer in hospital.

My wife and I looked after the grandchildren so her husband, Robert, could go to work. 

Sara is a dental nurse and for a very large part of this last year has not been able to work. As their household depends on two salaries, as do most these days, they have slid into some alarming debt. On top of this, Sara will not be able to return to work until January next year at the soonest.

As a result of the op, she is now left with two stoma bags to collect urine and faeces and has to face the difficulties that alone entails. Her life has changed forever and although she is very stoic and pragmatic, she has so many more added expenses that will become apparent as time goes on.


Sara has always been vigilant about taking regular smear tests and a couple of years prior to her diagnosis one of her tests showed an abnormal result. Her GP sent her for another which also showed abnormal but this was never followed up on and she was not referred for treatment so she didn't know to follow it up and assumed, as her GP had done nothing, then nothing needed done.

She thought she may have a case for medical negligence but cannot produce enough proof to follow up a case (even if she had the energy to do so). The doctors notes proved to be incomplete and she has nothing else to go on.

She has applied for benefits but has been turned down and is still waiting for a PIP assessment.

She has now said she may have to return to work early, against doctors orders, as she is sliding further into debt.

Any money I can raise here will help her stay home to recover fully and also help with her on going expenses of raising her two lovely children.


  • Anonymous
    • £10 
    • 3 yrs


Ian Gilmer

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