A nurse who canceled three important medical appointments because of Covid was told by doctors that she had cancer because of Zoom.
Kimberley Eccles' aggressive cancer has now spread and the mother was told she only had six months to live.
The 23-year-old was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare tissue disease that only affects 1% of the adult population, according to her doctors.
She was told the devastating news during an online video call with her doctors in August.
Kimberley is one of thousands of Britons who missed critical surgeries and medical treatments as a result of the Covid crisis after a government report predicted that up to 25,000 deaths due to health care delays would have occurred in the first six months of the pandemic.
Kimberley Eccles, 23, (pictured left with mason partner Darren Aldred, 24) was told she had cancer over a Zoom call to her doctor in August after three appointments were canceled for Covid
Her aggressive cancer has now spread through the tumor in her cheek and the mother of one from Leyland, Lancashire has been told she only has six months to live
"I got a one percent chance of survival and said I had about six months to live," Kimberley told The Sun.
“I had my daughter at home when I answered the video call and I was so shocked that I couldn't speak.
“I can't help but think how different it would have been if there hadn't been a pandemic and my cancer had been diagnosed earlier.
"There must be many other cancer patients in the same position as me now."
Kimberley, of Leyland, Lancashire, was told by her doctors to "make memories" and a bucket list with her seven-year-old daughter Maya and mason partner Darren Aldred, 24, as her cancer is a "ticking time bomb" ".
But she wants to keep fighting and is collecting money to travel to America for alternative treatment.
Kimberley, of Leyland, Lancashire, was told by her doctors to "make memories" and a bucket list with her daughter Maya because her cancer is a "ticking time bomb".
Instead, she is raising funds to go to America and receive alternative treatments that are not available in the UK. She will have major surgery on Monday in the UK to remove the tumor from her cheek and reconstruct her face with bones from her leg
Rhabdomyosarcoma: A rare form of cancer that develops in soft tissues
Rhabdomyosarcoma is a rare type of sarcoma cancer. It is an aggressive and highly malignant form of cancer.
Sarcomas are cancers that develop in the body's connective tissues, such as muscles, fat, nerves, blood vessels, bones, and cartilage.
The face is a common place to find this type of cancer, as is the soft tissues in the bladder, arms, and legs.
Rhabdomyosarcoma is more common in children and adolescents than in adults.
And also for some unknown reason it is more common in men than women.
Up to 60 new cases of rhabdomyosarcoma are treated in the UK each year.
Treatment for rhabdomyosarcoma depends on the patient, and treatment usually starts with chemotherapy.
Since sarcomas are rare types of cancer, patients are usually referred to a special unit for treatment.
Source: Macmillan Cancer Support
"But I can't stop, I can't just accept that," she wrote on her donation page.
"I don't want to write a bucket list, I want to be there to see my girl grow up, marry the man of my dreams and lead a healthy life."
Kimberley initially thought she had a mouth ulcer after noticing a small growth on her cheek in June last year.
But as it grew, she was booked for a consultation, biopsy, and MRI scan earlier this year. However, their appointments coincided with the start of the lockdown and were canceled in the face of the growing coronavirus threat.
She spent six months in agony as the tumor grew in her left cheek.
"I was a normal typical mother, working full time as a caregiver, taking care of family life at home and suddenly everything changed completely for me and my family," she recalls.
Childcare worker Kimberley collapsed at work and was rushed to hospital.
“My tumor was / is aggressive and once it has spread it is completely incurable. The doctor described this as a ticking bomb and once it goes off there is no going back, ”she adds.
Kimberley is due to have surgery on Monday to remove the tumor in her cheek after chemotherapy at Royal Preston Hospital and Blackburn Hospital failed to shrink it.
Your cheek will be rebuilt using bone and tissue from your leg during a 12-hour reconstructive surgery.
Once she has recovered, she hopes to travel to America for treatments not available in the UK.
Kimberley's cheek is being rebuilt using bone and tissue from her leg during 12-hour reconstructive surgery after chemotherapy sessions at Royal Preston Hospital and Blackburn Hospital failed to shrink the tumor
She said, "So it's clear that surgery has to happen anyway. We just can't wait any longer to get this tumor out of me."
“My entire cheek will be removed, along with the surrounding bone, which will then be replaced with bone and tissue from my leg. My face will remain paralyzed.
“The surgeon made it very clear to us that he can't and won't even give us a 1% chance that this will actually work, but he says this is our best shot.
“The doctor tells us that my cancer is unique in many ways. Usually when a personalized treatment plan is created, it simply cannot be done for me. It's all trial and error.
“The doctors who examine me have never looked at a patient like me in their entire professional experience.
"Knowing that there are people out there who can help me and the only thing standing in my way is that money makes me sick."
- Kimberley's fundraiser Here has raised £ 12,000 so far from her £ 50,000 goal.
The tragic victims of the pandemic, but NOT the virus itself
Kelly Smith, 31, was informed by her doctors in March that her chemotherapy was suspended for three months – but her cancer spread and she died on June 13
At the start of the pandemic, a report by experts from the Department of Health and Social Welfare, the Department of National Statistics, the Department of Actuarial Science and the Department of the Interior predicted that up to 25,000 deaths would have occurred in the first six months from delays in the health service .
Among these are thousands of cancer patients who were unable to access the treatment they needed at the height of the virus' spread.
Kelly Smith, a 31-year-old beautician, also died after she had stopped chemotherapy to treat her colon cancer for three months. Her cancer spread and she died on June 13th.
Beth Purvis is another victim of the pandemic. The mother of two children had lung cancer that spread to her brain after her surgery was canceled.
Beth Purvis & # 39; lung cancer, mother of two (pictured with husband Richard and children Joseph, 12) and Abigail (10), spread to her brain after her surgery was stopped
Beth, 41, said, “My prognosis is not good. I have probably four months to a year left to live. & # 39;
Ms. Purvis had planned to have a tumor removed from her right lung on March 25th. However, this was canceled within the pandemic with just one week's notice.
“I will never know if this operation could have saved my life. It could have done, ”she said. "But it was canceled, and then I found out in late May that it had spread to my brain."
Jennifer Eldridge, 40, was also diagnosed with terminal cancer after failing to see a doctor.
At Easter, the active, healthy mother of two had back pain.
It was impossible to get a face-to-face appointment at the local practice, and it even took a month to get an online consultation. She was prescribed pain medication.
Jennifer Eldridge, who has stage 4 colon cancer, is pictured with her daughters Lina (five) and Jasmine (two)
Four months later, Ms. Eldridge was finally referred for a colonoscopy for a blood test she eventually saw – and a counselor said he saw what appeared to be a tumor.
Professionals told her she had stage 4 colon cancer that appeared to have spread to her lungs and she had come to terms with a final diagnosis.
She believes that without the pandemic, she could have been diagnosed earlier – which increases her chances of daughters Lina (five) and Jasmine (two) at least reaching their teens.
Ms. Eldridge, from Bristol said: “I was told that my cancer has likely spread to my lungs, which means it is incurable and I could only live two more years.
"If I could have seen my GP sooner, if these supposedly 'non-urgent' tests had been done … the cancer might not have had a chance to spread."
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