A dad-of-three has been told his life-saving surgery to remove prostate cancer has been postponed ‘for the foreseeable future’ after his local hospital came under extreme pressure due to the pandemic.
The desperate family of Glyn Lewis, 45, are now trying to raise £25,000 so he can have the operation privately amid fears his condition will deteriorate if he is forced to wait any longer.
Glyn’s operation on the NHS has been cancelled twice since he was first diagnosed with stage two cancer in September. But he’s been told he could get the procedure he needs within two weeks if he can afford to pay – and it’ll even be done by the same doctor.
The garage door salesman, who has three children: Brooke, 20, Callum, 14, and Taylor, 13, now faces an agonising wait to see if friends and family can raise the money in time.
Glyn’s partner of 22 years Shelley Thomas, 39, said doctors told the couple in normal times they would try to get the urgent op done in a matter of weeks from diagnosis.
She said: ‘All we’ve been told is it’s been cancelled for the foreseeable future, they haven’t been able to give us a date at all. Covid has taken over everything and we don’t know what is going on.
‘We’re scared that the longer it is left, the harder it will be to operate. They are having to reduce everything drastically and they can’t give us a date. We just don’t have an end in sight at the moment and it’s weighing on us every minute of the day.’
Glyn, from Ketley near Telford in Shropshire, first started feeling ill in January a year ago. Men are not routinely screened for prostate cancer until they are 50 but doctors decided to run tests because of a history of cancer in the family.
After months of waiting, the cancer was confirmed in September and he was booked in for the operation to remove it on December 18.
This was cancelled as Glyn contracted MRSA during a hospital trip and was rearranged for January 14.
A few days before the procedure was due to go ahead, Shrewsbury Hospital called and told him they had to postpone the surgery due to a huge influx of Covid patients.
Shelley doesn’t blame the NHS but says she feels if more people had stuck to the restrictions that are in place, the situation might not have got so bad again.
‘There’s just too many people not taking it seriously’, she said. ‘If everyone had been following the rules, it wouldn’t have got to this point.’
Michelle Mielnik, Glyn’s cousin who lives in Fife, is running the fundraising campaign to try to raise the money for the urgent operation.
She estimates they need £14,500 to pay for the surgery and an extra £10,500 for any additional procedures he may need and to help care for the family post-op. In the two weeks since the Go Fund Me page went live, they have raised more than £8,000.
She said: ‘It’s been close to a year since the symptoms first started and we don’t know how much the cancer has spread in that time. Because he is younger, there’s a chance it can spread quicker so we are just desperate. We are all terrified.
‘He’s too young to die. I couldn’t let that happen so I’m doing everything I can to help. People have been amazing but donations have slowed down now and we don’t have enough.
‘He is just such a lovely man, a great dad who loves looking after his family. It is affecting his mental health, it’s affecting the whole family. We want to feel like we are doing something positive.’
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