Mum given just days to live after doctors repeatedly dismissed terminal cancer as stress
| Last updated
Featured Image Credit: Credit: Nottinghamshire Live/BPM MEDIA
A mother of five children is facing unimaginable heartbreak after being given a terminal diagnosis following what doctors originally thought was a viral infection.
After being sent home multiple times under with a minor ‘infection’, Claire Francis, 38, was finally told that she actually had advanced cancer.
But after initially falling ill in February of this year with breathing issues which was thought to be a viral infection, Claire has been told that the cancer has returned she may have days, weeks or months left to live.
Desperate for answers after the symptoms began, she explained to Nottingham Live about how she was persistent to find answers.
After visiting the A&E department at Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham, and the NHS Walk-in Treatment Centre, Nottingham, several times over four weeks, she was unfortunately dismissed as just having a viral infection due to her observations at the hospital coming back as OK.
This back and forth continued until it all came to a head one month later in March, when a senior professor admitted her to hospital for a list of tests which still gave no answers about what was happening to Claire.
A few days after being admitted to hospital, she was given the all clear and it was confirmed that her cancer hadn’t returned, and her illness was still a mystery.
Thankfully, a different consultant saw Claire and suggested a full body MRI scan.
It was on the very same day (6 April) that she was told that the MRI had found three brain tumours and that they were incurable.
With each tumour causing havoc within her body, such as crushing the nerve to her vocal cord which resulted in Claire losing her voice, the mum received a devastating prognosis.
After being notified of what her scan results showed, she was swiftly moved to City Hospital, Nottingham, to start treatment which was when the mum was told that she also has lung cancer.
Following the diagnosis, Claire underwent surgery to have a tracheostomy fitted to help her breathe and explained how the events of the last few weeks have left her feeling.
She told Nottinghamshire Live: "It should never have come to this. I went to hospital for four weeks with a viral infection and eventually they admitted me.
"They tried to tell me it was stress. I went to neurology for a second opinion, and I was told I have three brain tumours and lung cancer.”
Claire is still in City Hospital, undergoing treatment for a chest and lung infection, as well as fluid around her heart.
The inspiring mum has raised her four older children by herself, and has a fifth child, who is five years old.
Sasha Karimjee, 39, a childhood friend of Claire’s, praises her and her children’s bravery during these awful weeks.
She said: "On April 22, they said it is not cancer. It's not returned. You are a mystery. She said, 'there must be a reason', and got a second opinion and found this.”
Describing her friend as 'loyal, kind, caring, and a beautiful soul', she thinks that 'the whole world should know, her children are amazing'.
Sasha admits: "I have left the hospital ward in tears and they (the children) support me.
"I'm 40 in two weeks and I hope she makes it to my 40th.”
Sasha currently runs the registered charity Polly's Poppadoms and a fundraiser for anyone who is in need which takes its name after close friend Rachel 'Polly' Pollard - who lost her battle with cancer in 2016.
Raising money through her Facebook page and homemade 'meal deals', due to her kitchen unfortunately being out of action, she hopes that people will donate to support Claire's family through this tragedy.
If you would like to help, your donations can be made to Polly's Poppadoms, Sort code - 30 90 89 - Account number - 46006668.