A mother-of-one has passed away after her treatment was ‘paused’ because of the pandemic.
31-year-old Kelly Smith, who was diagnosed with bowel cancer, died on June 13 after doctors paused her chemotherapy because of the coronavirus crisis.
Before she passed away, Miss Smith said: “I’m angry at Covid and that I got put on this break because I don’t think I should have. I’m terrified – absolutely terrified. I don’t want to die. I feel like I’ve got so much more to do.”
According to Daily Mail, hospitals canceled many procedures, including vital operations and tests, to clear beds for coronavirus patients when the nation shut down in March.
Many people had their diagnosis delayed while others missed out on life-saving procedures.
Cancer Research UK says the backlog is already so long and around 3 million people are waiting for screening. Charities also estimate up to 35,000 more deaths in 2021 may be caused by cancer.
“Cancer is not a disease where you can put people on the shelf for three months,” Professor Karol Sikora, a consultant oncologist, said.
“It’s not like hip replacements or cataract surgery where patients on the waiting list face immense discomfort – if cancer isn’t diagnosed and treated promptly, it can spread, and more people will die.”
Former Tory leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith also said: “This obsession with one issue – Covid – is disastrous. A second lockdown would be an unmitigated disaster in health terms: fewer cancer patients will get treatment, and there will be more deaths.”
In an interview with the Mail, Professor Pat Price, the founder of the Catch Up With Cancer Campaign, said: “The stark reality is that if we don’t get through this backlog, patients won’t get the treatment they need and will die. Cancer patients are as important as Covid patients.”
Miss Smith’s stepfather, Craig Russell, told the Mail that his stepdaughter’s life had been ‘traded’ for coronavirus patients.
“Kelly’s loss has been devastating to our family. So many people have suffered the same as we have, losing loved ones. We will never really get over the fact we lost Kelly,” he expressed.
“Cancer is a far bigger threat than Covid ever could be. Every day 500 people die from cancer and those numbers are starting to increase because there is no treatment. Sadly, it is too late for Kelly, but there is still time to save others,” Mr. Russell added.
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