A father-of-two who had to “beg” to get an MRI scan because of the coronavirus crisis has died of cancer, his family have revealed.
Sherwin Hall, 27, from Leeds, West Yorkshire, went to hospital on March 23 suffering from leg pain but despite repeated visits he was only given a course of antibiotics for a misdiagnosis of prostatitis.
After “begging for a scan” and 13 hospital visits in four weeks, Mr Hall was finally given an MRI on May 26 which revealed a 14cm malignant tumour in his pelvis and 30 small tumours on his lungs.
Before his death, Mr Hall said: “I kept begging them in April and May to give me an MRI scan, but no-one would listen.
“Both my GP and my consultant told me that I couldn’t get one because scanning services were slowed down because of the coronavirus.”
His widow, LaTroya Hall, who is being supported by the Catch Up With Cancer Campaign, said: “I am devastated. I have lost the love of my life.
“If Sherwin’s cancer had been found earlier it is likely he would still be here today. He would want me to do everything I can to prevent other families suffering as we have.
“It worries me that the Government and NHS leaders continue to say cancer services are back to normal; our family’s experience has been that, even now, this is simply not the case.” Mr Hall’s death comes as cancer patients, celebrities and NHS staff have launched a Christmas video as part of a campaign calling on the Government to boost cancer services “devastated” by the Covid-19 crisis.
The Catch Up With Cancer campaign was launched by the parents of Macclesfield beautician Kelly Smith who died after her treatment for bowel cancer was stopped because of the pandemic.
TV presenter Victoria Derbyshire said in the film: “I’m Victoria Derbyshire and all I want for Christmas is for people who’ve noticed changes in their body or noticed unexplained symptoms to go to the doctor’s please.”
Cancer charity MacMillan says the backlog of cancer patients from the first lockdown is 50,000 while there might be double the number of patients from the second lockdown.
An international study has suggested that for every four-week delay in treatment there is a 6 per cent to 13 per cent reduction in survival which could lead to the death of tens of thousands of cancer patients who could have survived under normal circumstances.
A Department of Health and Social Care spokeswoman said: “Cancer diagnosis and treatment has remained a priority throughout the pandemic and we urge people to come forward if they have symptoms.
“The NHS is working hard so as many people as possible get the help they need and more than 870,000 people were referred for cancer checks between March and August.
“We’ve given £3 billion to support the NHS in tackling the impact of Covid, including £1 billion to provide extra checks, scans and operations.”