A young mum has died from cancer that was initially diagnosed as pneumonia due to coronavirus.
Beth Pattison, 27, had developed a cough and feared the cancer she had already fought off twice was back.
To her relief she was then told she had pneumonia, probably due to Covid-19.
But in a cruel twist, the true reason behind Pattison's cough was diagnosed on June 24 as cancer that had been missed.
She tragically died three days later, reports Chronicle Live.
Due to the pandemic, the mum-of-one struggled to see a doctor – when she did, she was advised to take the Covid-19 test and told she had pneumonia.
The fact the cancer was now on her lungs and ovaries was missed.
Beth, from Chester-Le-Street, Durham, was first diagnosed with breast cancer in May 2016, when her son, Finn Lynch, was just three months old.
Doctors discovered she was carrying a mutation in the BRCA1 gene, which put her at a higher risk from a number of cancers. She underwent a gruelling course of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, and then had a double mastectomy and had some lymphnodes removed from under her arm in a bid to prevent the cancer from coming back.
In October 2017 she discovered yet another lump, this time under her arm, and once again had to go through chemotherapy treatment.
Beth's dad, Craig Pattison, said he and Beth's mum Helen had wanted to speak out about what had happened to their daughter not to apportion blame, but to raise awareness and beg medical professionals to take a history of cancer seriously.
The 53-year-old said: "We're not a family that believes in laying blame and the care that Beth received during her cancer treatment was second to none.
"But one thing we want to leave as a legacy for our Beth is to hopefully stop this from happening to another family. We want people who've had cancer to be treated as cancer patients first, to always make sure that it isn't the cancer, then you can deal with things like Covid and pneumonia. We want to raise awareness that cancers like Beth's might be missed. She asked seven or eight times if it might be cancer and she just got knocked back.
"I appreciate there is probably a cost issue, but you're dealing with people's lives here and when you know someone has had cancer you should be checking. We will never know if it would have made a difference, but surely if she could have started chemo earlier she could have been strong enough for an operation."
Strong, determined and always the "life and soul of the party", throughout her illness Beth fought to help others, raising awareness of the BRCA1 gene and supporting charity CoppaFeel, which encourages young women to be aware of cancer risk and regularly check their breasts for potential cancer signs.
In her memory, family and friends are continuing her fundraising and awareness raising. A fun day at Chester-Le-Street cricket club on Saturday, raising money both to support Finn in his future and for CoppaFeel, will only be the first of many "celebrations of Beth's life" to come, her family say.
Craig said: "She was a true character, if she got involved in something you'd always know she was there. Her smile lit up a room.
"She could be a little firecracker, she had her cheeky side. Ultimately her major driving force was to make sure everything was there for Finn, everything was about him for her.
"She was the funniest person I knew and the life and soul of any party. She was a little pocket rocket, 4ft 11.5 inches and didn’t go anywhere without being in a pair of heels, what she lacked in height she made up in personality.
"She was an amazing mam to Finn and her life revolved around that little boy.
"Despite all that she went through over the years she never complained, her strength throughout it all was just unbelievable and she never let it get her down or stop her living her life. She was the type of person who, even when she was going through treatment, she didn't let it get her down, she didn't want people feeling sorry for her."
You can donate to the fund to support Finn here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/raising-money-for-finns-future