A mental health nurse was given the devastating news that she only had 11 months to live but believes she should have been diagnosed sooner.
A mental health nurse has been diagnosed with stage four cancer and believes she should have been diagnosed sooner.
Irene Maullu started off working as a healthcare support worker and with an aspiration to become a nurse, qualified three years ago in the mental health field. However, it was early last year that she started to feel unwell and was initially treated for jaundice.
Irene then claims there was little communication between herself and the hospital and was not told she had cancer for several months. In July 2021, after suffering with severe abdominal pain, she was referred to a different hospital where it all changed.
Talking to LancsLive, Irene said: “At first, they thought I would get an operation but then in October 2021 they discovered I had stage four pancreatic cancer and gave me a prognosis of 11 months. It meant I couldn’t have the operation anymore and I couldn’t believe it because it could have been dealt with sooner.”
Irene’s close friend and old colleague Jennifer Baker, who also works within Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust reached out to Irene to set up a fundraising page. She said: “I hadn’t seen Irene for a while, particularly as she moved hospitals so about a week ago I reached out to see how she was doing. It was then that she told me she had terminal cancer and had only been given 11 months to live.
“I couldn’t believe it, so I suggested setting up a fundraising page and people have been so generous. She’s also so loved, patients talk really highly of her and we’ve had lots of great feedback. She’s got a family though and I just can’t imagine what they’re going through.”
Irene has a husband and an 11-year-old son who lives with autism and severe learning disabilities. “My husband was the caregiver for our son whilst I worked, but now he cares for us both,” Irene added.
“However, Jennifer very kindly reached out and suggested raising funds, so we might be doing that to get alternative treatment abroad or private treatment here. I still have hope and I’m still hanging on.
“Cancer does not wait for anyone and you just have to keep going. Counting down the months is the most difficult thing and I just keep thinking, what if I die earlier? We are just hoping that the public hear about this and if they can, donate one or two pounds.” You can donate to Irene’s Go Fund Me by visiting the page here.
- 14:05, 3 JUN 2022
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