For Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a husband has spoken about his devastating loss of his wife to cancer after her GP failed to examine her properly.
After a tough battle with breast cancer, Leonie Largue tragically died on 3 November 2016 at the age of 34, leaving behind husband, John and their two sons; Jack, 18 and Ryan, 15.
In June 2014, she had visited her GP after discovering a small lump in her right breast, but didn’t receive a thorough examination.
Leonie was told that it was only a small lymph gland and she was turned away with no further referral.
When the mum-of-two from Newcastle upon Tyne went back to her GP 17 months later, however, a new mass was discovered alongside the previous lump she had found.
Leonie was quickly diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent vigorous treatment. But she sadly died only one year after her diagnosis.
John, 42, is now paying tribute to his late wife as the sixth anniversary of her death looms.
He said: “She was so young and full of life before getting cancer, it was devastating to watch it take hold of her. For her to die so soon after being diagnosed was also incredibly difficult.
“She was the best wife and mum and to know that our sons will have to live their lives without her is unbearable.
"They were still very young when they had to deal with losing Leonie, and she’ll never see them get married or have families of their own."
He is also wants to spread the importance of getting an early diagnosis and urges people to look for a second opinion.
John said: "To this day, I still feel if the cancer had been found earlier, Leonie might still be here. But I know there is nothing I can do to turn back the clock and change what’s happened.
"It’s also important that cancer is found early, so please seek a second opinion if you need to.
"I really wish I had urged Leonie to do that; I feel it might have saved her life.”
Leonie's doctors have since admitted a breach of duty, saying that they should have carried out a breast examination during her initial appointment.
However, they have denied that earlier treatment would have avoided her death.
Specialist medical negligence lawyer, Rachelle Mahapatra, who represented John after Leonie's death, said: "Cancer doesn’t discriminate; it can affect anyone, and it’s vital that it’s investigated and treated early to increase the chances of survival.
"While concerning areas in Leonie’s care have been identified during our investigations, people should still take part in cancer screening programmes and seek medical advice if they’re concerned.
“We can’t change the suffering that Leonie’s family have been through but we’re pleased to have secured this settlement which will help secure the futures of Leonie’s children and help the family access the specialist support they require to try and rebuild their lives.
“We join John in supporting Breast Cancer Awareness Month. By telling his story John hopes that he can help others by raising awareness of the signs of the disease.”
For advice, support and information, visit Breast Cancer Now.
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