A dad-of-one has been given the heartbreaking news that he has only 6 months left to live...
And it's all as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
via: GettyNeil Matherson, from Dundee, Scotland, had the essential treatment for his brain tumor postponed as a result of the global virus.
Now, the pandemic has had a devastating effect on many different aspects of the world...
via: GettySuch as small businesses, restaurants, bars, and social gatherings.
But perhaps the most appalling part of this heinous situation?
via: GettyOver in the United Kingdom, cancer treatments have been postponed and, in worst-case scenarios, even canceled.
Yep, in the name of coronavirus, cancer patients have been denied their treatment.
via: GettyA London hospital which canceled all cancer treatments for 2 whole weeks at the start of the pandemic said in a statement: “These measures will help us to protect our patients, including those with covid-19, and those with other conditions."
But will denying potentially life-saving treatment really "protect" patients?
Disgraceful. Shameful. Cancelled cancer treatment for this man's wife. Imagine how distraught this family are. N… https://t.co/U35Ciby17w— Linda M. Cameron (@Linda M. Cameron)1602079163.0
Well, the statistics speak for themselves.
via: GettyA study published earlier this year predicted that these delayed and canceled treatments could very well result in around 3,500 avoidable deaths from the 4 main cancers by 2025. The BBC reported that the chances of dying from coronavirus are between 0.5% and 1%... Is it really worth putting thousands of cancer patients at risk just for that?
And this brings us back to the heartbreaking tale of Neil Matherson.
via: FacebookThe thirty-six-year-old dad-of-one was diagnosed with stage 4 brain cancer in 2018 after an optician spotted an abnormality behind his eye and referred him to the hospital.
Neil's symptoms were quick to intensify...
via: FacebookAnd he began suffering from extreme headaches that felt like “someone was tasering" the center of his brain.
On his symptoms, Neil said:
via: Facebook"By spring 2018, I was experiencing more and more pain, to the point where I would drop to the floor in agony."
Specialists found a tumor on the back of Neil's brain...
via: GettyWhich was quickly identified as a rare and incurable glioblastoma multiforme.
Almost instantly, Neil began the grueling treatment...
via: FacebookAnd, in surgery, medics were able to remove 100% of the tumor, which was the size of an apple, but the prognosis was just twelve to eighteen months.
Neil managed 5 out of 6 cycles of treatment...
via: FacebookAfter which he had some respite with several months of "stable" scans showing no regrowth of the tumor.
However, just one week before the national lockdown in March, Neil and his family received some bad news.
via: FacebookHis wife, Emőke, said: “We received some really disappointing MRI results which showed the tumor was growing and doctors wanted him to start him on a different type of chemo as soon as possible. But, as the hospital wasn’t licensed to use this alternative treatment, they had to wait for permission to go ahead."
But by the time permission was granted, the country was in lockdown.
via: FacebookNeil and his family were then given the impossible choice of taking the treatment and risk contracting coronavirus, or postponing the treatment, thus increasing the risk of his tumor continuing to grow.
As a result of coronavirus, his treatment was then postponed...
via: GettyAnd as a result, Neil has now been told that he has only 6 months left to live.
Neil's condition continues to deteriorate...
via: FacebookHe explained: "The tumor is now interfering with my vision and I am blind on the left side of both my eyes and my peripheral vision has gone. I am struggling to walk too." “If the cancer grows the same as it did before, it is in my best interests I make myself as comfortable as possible. I’ve got about 6 months."
via: Facebook“The care I had in hospital was amazing and the nurses couldn’t have been any nicer but I feel like the doctors have given up on me a bit and discarded me."
He and his wife are desperate for an alternative treatment...
via: FacebookThat will hopefully give the family more time together after the devastating diagnosis.
Neil has now applied for a new treatment trial in London...
via: FacebookHe explained: "It’s called Care Oncology clinic that uses natural remedies that they have been experimenting with. It will be nice to be on something natural rather than having chemicals pumped into my body. It has had a lot of good reviews from other cancer patients saying that it has been successful in pushing their cancer back and I’m looking forward to giving it a go."
His wife, Emőke, is now raising money for Brain Tumour Research.
via: FacebookYou can see the fundraiser here. Our thoughts go out to the Matherson family during this difficult time.