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Gareth Andrew Weston, from Mountain Ash, died aged 37, leaving three children behind within four months of his first medical appointment.
His sisters, Hayley Civit and Emma Weston, felt more should have been done to help the dad during the months leading up to his unexpected death from cancer.
The sisters claimed he was given three different cancer diagnoses before a scan finally revealed that the condition had spread everywhere, and, sadly, diflucan sciroppo composizione Gareth died the next day.
Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board and University Hospitals Birmingham are now investigating the concerns raised by the family.
At the start of the summer, the sisters said Gareth went to see his GP with stomach issues and was referred to Prince Charles Hospital for a scan on Monday, July 3.
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The scan found a mass in his abdomen and this was the first mention of cancer, his family claimed.
He was then referred to Birmingham Queen Elizabeth Hospital for a biopsy that led to diagnosis with Ewing sarcoma – a type of bone or soft tissue cancer – at the start of August.
The doctors recommended for Gareth to be treated with chemotherapy and he was referred to Velindre Cancer Care. Emma told WalesOnline: “There was a plan in place – it was sort of hope. I knew that he was unwell, but I thought he might have a chance here.”
However, a couple of weeks later the diagnosis changed and Gareth was then informed that it could be red cell Sarcoma – affecting the tissues that connect, support and surround other body structures and organs. Chemotherapy treatment was recommended again.
Hayley said: “I was spending days trying to find out what was happening, but I didn’t know who to call. I was contacting cancer centres trying to figure out where we could get help.”
At the end of August, Gareth had another blood transfusion at Velindre, when another consultant saw him and told him he had pancreatic cancer and was meant to start chemotherapy for the first time in two weeks, the family claimed.
Gareth reported this back to his sisters, who originally thought he must have got it wrong. They claimed they asked Velindre that every time Gareth attended an appointment alone to email them a transcript of the consultation, but nothing was ever sent and they claimed they couldn’t get hold of anyone there.
The sisters also stressed that there was no mention of terminal cancer during these appointments.
A spokesperson for Velindre Cancer Centre said: “We are very sorry to hear of Mr Weston’s passing and we extend our deepest condolences to his loved ones. Velindre always strives to provide high-quality, safe and compassionate care to all of our service users and we have already started the process of looking into Mr Weston’s experience with us. We would welcome the opportunity to meet with the family to discuss in greater detail the concerns they have raised.”
Eventually, Gareth was experiencing such severe pain that he started to feel suicidal, which prompted the sisters to contact the GP and call an ambulance.
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But Hayley and Emma claimed he was given antidepressants and that the ambulance was cancelled by the surgery because Gareth would be waiting around “for hours” before being admitted into hospital.
Hayley said: “You don’t give somebody who is potentially terminally ill – which we didn’t know at this stage – antidepressants. If somebody is having suicidal thoughts due to pain, you act on the pain, and you act on somebody feeling suicidal.”
Emma added: “He was 52kg at this point – he was just basically dying in front of everyone that night.”
On September 3, Gareth collapsed again and he was then admitted to Prince Charles Hospital, where he received another CT scan that showed that the cancer had spread everywhere.
The 37-year-old dad was meant to start chemotherapy that Monday but sadly died on September 4.
The sisters claimed their brother was “in constant pain” and lost a “worrying” amount of weight during this time. And they have made formal complaints to the health boards which dealt with Gareth.
A spokesperson from Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board said: “We offer our heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Mr Weston and we are deeply sorry for their loss. Unfortunately, we cannot comment on the details of Mr Weston as the family have already been in contact with us and we are in the process of investigating the concerns they have raised, we will speak to the family directly with regards to these details.
“We would like to assure the community that as a health board, we are committed to investigating any issues or concerns raised by patients and their families to ensure that we can provide the best possible care and learn from issues raised.”
A spokesperson for University Hospitals Birmingham said: “Our thoughts and sincerest condolences are with Gareth’s family and friends as they mourn their deep loss. We will investigate the concerns that have been raised thoroughly.”
The sisters also set up a GoFundMe page to support Gareth’s children as he was the main provider before he became unwell. You can donate to the fund here.
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