By Kris Jepson
A man from Chester le Street, County Durham, has called on people to get tested for Cancer even if they think their symptoms result from Coronavirus.
Craig Pattison, 53, told ITV News "Cancer is, to our cost we’ve found, if you don’t catch it early, it will catch you. As I say, our Beth wasn’t a victim of Covid, she’s a victim of Covid circumstance".
His daughter Beth, 27, died in June just three days after being diagnosed with cancer for the third time.
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Mother of one, Beth, had previously been diagnosed with breast cancer in May 2016. She had chemotherapy, radiotherapy and a double mastectomy and had lymph nodes removed.
In October 2017, she again found a lump under her arm and underwent more chemotherapy. In March this year, she came down with a cough and medics suspected she may have Covid-19 or pneumonia.
Her tests came back negative and it was only in late June she was tested for cancer. Medics found that the cancer had returned in her lung and ovaries. Three days later Beth passed away.
Beth, who raised thousands of pounds for the NHS as a thank you for their care over the years, passed away on 27 June, survived by her five-year-old son, Finn.
Craig Pattison said the family has "no axe to grind" nor are they attempting to blame anyone for his daughter's death, but he said they wanted to raise awareness, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic, so that people can get tested for cancer early and avoid it being mistaken for the coronavirus.
He said his priority now is his grandson, Finn.
"The foremost thing in her life was Finn and she wanted to provide the best that she possibly could. God bless him. He knows mammy is in the sky. Some friends of ours have named a star after her so he knows mammy is a star. Funnily enough, just before you came it's the first time we’ve really had a good conversation with him about pictures of his mam and this, that and the other."