"I needed life-saving surgery": Caller with aggressive cancer highlights hidden sufferers of Covid

27 August 2020, 18:49 | Updated: 27 August 2020, 18:51

By Fiona Jones

This caller with shockingly aggressive cancer had to simply hope she'd get life-saving surgery during the pandemic as hospitals were at capacity - she brought to light the many hidden sufferers of Covid.

Mary is in her early thirties and told Shelagh Fogarty that last year she was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of breast cancer.

Tragically in the middle of lockdown it transpired there was some cancer still there post-operation which was either missed or grew back.

Mary said, "All of the operations at my hospital got cancelled, what they call elective operations, and then luckily they were able to do some work with private hospitals so I was on a list...but then that private hospital also shut down all operations."

She told Shelagh, "I'm very blessed because I did get my operation. I was very aware that for my oncologist she had to choose two people to get their surgery because there just wasn't enough room for everyone to get their surgery.

"I know that I was very lucky to get it."

Mary works for the NHS so she sympathises that it is difficult to find capacity; "But when you're going through it, not knowing whether you're going to get your surgery or not for something that is life or death is hard."

She told Shelagh her cancer went from half a centimetre to four centimetres within a matter of weeks: "Every moment that that was inside me was a risk it could have spread."

"People don't think about the hidden effects of Covid."