A mother in England has just days to live after a misdiagnosis left her cancer untreated.
According to the Daily Mail, Kaley Fitzsimons, 33, went to her doctor’s office because of pain in her hip after she gave birth to her daughter, Gracie, three months earlier.
Her doctor told her that she had “overdone it” while exercising, and she was sent on her way. She soon returned with even worse pain. The doctor arranged for have physiotherapy sessions to alleviate her suspected muscle pain.
Fitzsimons was eventually in so much pain that she could not sleep for four days. Doctors finally sent her in for a body scan that revealed a tumor near her hip.
Although she went through chemotherapy as well as an amputation of her right leg in May, the cancer spread to her lungs. Last week, doctors gave the mother just a few days to live.
Fitzsimons is no stranger to health struggles. When she was 15 years old, she received a kidney transplant after her kidney failed when she was 13. Despite this, she went on to represent England in the Transplant Games, winning several gold medals in track and field events.
“If any good can come out of this, it will be that no other women die because their cancer symptoms are dismissed because they have recently had a baby,” Fitzsimons said. “I feel let down. It was too easy to blame my symptoms on the fact I had started exercise again after having my baby. If I hadn’t recently had my baby, the pain would have been properly investigated. Instead I was dismissed and the cancer left to grow for almost seven months.”
She met her partner and the father of her child, Jason Cox, 40, in college.
“I had always wanted to be a mother and was grateful that my transplant had made that possible,” she said. “We were over the moon.”
Gracie was born in April 2014.
Three months after having her child, the fitness coach was teaching a class when she felt a pop in her groin.
“I felt physically fit and well, so I knew what I had felt was not normal, but my GP insisted it was postnatal and that perhaps I had ‘overdone it,’” she said.
An MRI scan in December 2014 revealed that she had a tumor. The cancer has since spread to her lungs and is inoperable.
She now hopes her death will serve as a warning to all new mothers out there.
“Please, I beg all GPs to just consider the alternatives and not put it down to being postnatal symptom every time a new mother presents with unexplained pain,” she said. “If I had been diagnosed earlier, perhaps my treatment would have been a success and my family would not be going through this now.”
A GoFundMe account was set up to provide money for her prosthetic leg. The money will now be used for her daughter.