Retford cancer patient terminal after surgery cancelled over Covid-19
A Retford man has become the first known cancer victim to reveal he is now terminal after potentially life-saving surgery was cancelled due to Covid-19.
Adrian Rogers, 46, is a casualty of the huge NHS backlog caused by the coronavirus pandemic in the UK.
He was diagnosed with stage four bowel cancer in July 2018 - and his wife Amanda, 48, said that their world "came crashing down".
But after 18 months of gruelling chemotherapy for Adrian the family were finally given a glimmer of hope in February this year.
A surgeon said that the chemo had got his bowel to an operable state.
His surgery was scheduled for early April - but when Covid-19 hit doctors decided it was "too risky" to go ahead with his surgery.
And the scaffolding supervisor has now been told his cancer is terminal - as the number of tumours on his bowels and liver has since swelled from six to a massive 20.
Adrian, who is step-dad to Amanda's three children Laura, 25, and twins Edward and Alexander, 21, said: "I feel like the government left us high and dry.
"We were hearing in the news how there were all these private hospitals that were supposed to be set aside for people with other illnesses to have treatment.
"But they were apparently just empty.
"It is hard to take in that there were places where I could have gone to have treatment but they just chose to cancel it instead.
"I do believe that more could have been done to make sure I had my operation when it was an option.
"There have still been other illnesses that have needed treating during this time too - not just Covid."
But the family are not giving up hope - after Amanda found out about a potentially life-saving drug called Avastin - which could get Adrian back to being operable again.
The drug, which is administered alongside chemotherapy, costs a whopping £600 per fortnight.
So Amanda has now set up a fundraising page in a desperate attempt to be able to afford the treatment - raising over £10,000 in just ten days.
The "amazing" amount is enough to fund more than seven months of Avastin treatment for Adrian - and he is keen to get started as soon as possible.
He will receive his first dose of the drug on September 4, at Royal Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield.
The drug is administered alongside chemotherapy - with chemo killing the tumours and Avastin designed to prevent them from returning.
And Adrian said he is remaining hopeful about his chances with this new drug.
He said: "We've got to keep our hopes up.
"I'm so used to accepting chemotherapy now that this is just the next thing for me.
"But I was responding to the chemotherapy well before all this so hopefully it will be the same with Avastin.
"I'm just taking every day as it comes."
Amanda, who has been with Adrian for 17 years described it as "devastating" when they were told Adrian's operation had been cancelled.
She said: "We thought we were getting somewhere and then Covid came and spoiled all our plans.
"He was responding brilliantly to the chemotherapy.
"When he was diagnosed the cancer had already spread to his liver.
"But the chemotherapy was working really well and it got him to the stage where he was operable on both sides of his bowel and on his liver.
"We spoke to the surgeon in February and he told Adrian to come off the chemo for eight weeks to get ready for the surgery.
"But then Covid hit. His surgeon phoned us up and he was really nice about it.
"He said that the decision of whether to go ahead with Adrian's operation had to be put before a board but that he had recommended that Adrian should still be operated on.
"But the board made their decision and said no. They decided it was too risky.
"He's no longer operable because there just wouldn't be any liver left afterwards."
But determined Amanda quickly took to online forums and found out about miracle drug Avastin - which could still give her husband a fighting chance.
She said: "We were told that Adrian can either stop treatment and enjoy what time he has left - or Avastin can be given alongside more chemotherapy and that could work.
"If Adrian was having private care he would automatically get Avastin as standard.
"But as we are on the NHS we have to self-fund this for him."
And with the donations pouring in Amanda added: "It's been quite overwhelming for us.
"It was a big thing for us to share the fundraising page - we were really anxious to put it out there as we haven't even told some people close to us what's been going on.
"Adrian does have his down days but he needs to keep hopeful - and people have been so amazing with their donations.
"It's far better than we imagined it would be."
Meanwhile, Amanda now hopes that people will keep donating to Adrian's fundraising page to keep him going on Avastin for as long as possible.
To donate to Adrian's treatment click HERE.