A mum from England was initially told she had “nothing to worry about” – but was later diagnosed with terminal cancer.
Katie Pritchard, 37, from England, was initially told by doctors that her symptoms could be due to the COVID-19 vaccine and was misdiagnosed twice before learning she had cervical cancer, South West News Service reports.
At first, the doctors said her lump wasn’t worrisome, and even suggested she might have a prolapsed bladder from having two children or even a sexually transmitted infection, despite having been with her partner of 17 years.
“When I first went to the doctors because of my symptoms, I knew something wasn’t right,” Pritchard told SWNS in February.
She explained at the time: “I had to push really hard for the nurse to check me in for a second time at my appointment, and she told me there was nothing to worry about.”
Pritchard was finally diagnosed with the disease in January 2022 by a gynecologist, and passed away on June 17 surrounded by friends and family, according to SWNS.
“The space I left is irreplaceable and the pain of losing my best friend and mother to my two sons when I was 37 is indescribable,” Tom Cronin, Pritchard’s husband, 35, wrote in an update on his website. GoFundMe page which they prepared to take care of.
After Pritchard’s initial diagnosis, she had to wait three months to start treatment.
In April 2022, after completing five weeks of tiring and difficult radiotherapy, chemotherapy and brachytherapy, she was told that the treatment was successful in June 2022.
She managed to go to a friend’s wedding during that time and even got back into playing rugby.
However, she received bad news in December when she underwent further tests, and it was revealed that the cancer had spread and was in its final stages.
Her family even crowdfunded over $25,000 to try it out Pembro immunotherapyBecause they were told this might be her “only hope” – but on the day she was supposed to start taking the medication, they got a phone call from the consultant telling them that the company had withdrawn the medication, and that she wouldn’t be able to start on them.
Last May, they decided to move Pritchard to a nursing home.
Cronin said the care team who looked after Pritchard were still able to give her a good experience at the end of her life, allowing visitors to go to the pub and walk in the park.
Throughout her illness, Pritchard tried to remain positive, even marrying an old friend, who popped the question the day she found out her illness was advanced.
The two tied the knot in March, a day Pritchard described as “perfect”.
“It was so perfect and fun with lots of laughter and silliness,” she previously said, according to SWNS.
“I felt so good all day, and we all completely forgot about cancer.”
Before her death, Pritchard urged others on the importance of living life to the fullest.
“I want to tell people how important it is that you live your life and have lots of adventures,” Pritchard previously told SWNS.
“Turn off Netflix and go out and have fun. You have to live for now, not for the future.”