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A teenager waited for over a year to see a GP, only to die weeks later - her devastated family claim.
Nineteen-year-old Amelia Ellerby had pushed to see health care professionals after she discovered a lump, around the size of a 50p, on her back last February.
However, her aunt Claire Hanshaw, 37, who has looked after Amelia since she was 15, said that she was just given antibiotics.
The teenager was told that there could be a six-month wait for a scan due to Covid.
Claire said: "About six weeks later, she got in touch with them again, and they just prescribed her some antibiotics, again without even seeing her."
"This carried on for a year – of getting in touch with them every six weeks, and with them basically telling her she’d be referred for a scan and had to wait for that appointment.
"Eventually, at one point, she actually rang 111, and they sent an ambulance out to her – paramedics came."
However, when the ambulance arrived Claire said they told her that she'd 'be wasting her time' if she went to the hospital.
The lump started to get bigger, eventually reaching 'about the size of a hand' and Amelia's pain got worse.
So, Claire took her to A&E where scans revealed that she had stage four cancer, which spread 'all over the top half of her body'.
Amelia was diagnosed with metastatic soft tissue sarcoma on 18 May this year – it was stage four.
Clear went on to say: "And then at end of May she had another scan, and they said due to how fast everything was going, we were looking at weeks rather than months now."
Amelia was understandably 'upset and angry' at the late diagnosis and within a few weeks she passed away.
Claire was left distraught and said: "I feel like the doctors failed Amelia by not taking it seriously.
"I think there should be a lesson learned so that other people don’t go through the same thing.
"It was devastating because even though she was my niece she was like a daughter as she was living with me. We were very close."
Heartbreakingly, Claire went on to add "It was like losing a child. And it probably shouldn’t have happened.
"No one deserves to lose their life at that age. They haven’t lived their life, really."
Amelia's local surgery didn't comment on the case, however, a spokesperson for York and Scarborough Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “Our sympathies are with Amelia’s family at this terribly sad time.
"The way appointments are allocated and prioritised for diagnostic procedures such as scans is dependent on the nature of the referral that we receive, either from a GP or a clinician within the hospital.
"If a referral is made to investigate a potential cancer, then this is fast-tracked and would be done quickly, usually within two weeks.
"We continued to receive fast-track referrals and maintain this service throughout the pandemic.
"Early detection and diagnosis of cancer is incredibly important and we would encourage anyone who has any concerns to contact their GP as soon as possible.
"We would also encourage Amelia’s family to contact us if they have any questions about the care she received."
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