Thursday 25th February 2021
Zac was diagnosed with cancer in 2015. His family – Jason, Helen, Beth and Lucy – explain how devastating not being able to be together throughout treatment would have been:
Zac was diagnosed age 20, with a large germ cell tumour in his chest in September 2015. He was treated 70 miles away in Nottingham; three days after being admitted he was then diagnosed with acute megakaryoblastic leukaemia.
Imagine if he had been on his own when told of the second crushing diagnosis. That day we as a family of four had lots of tears, hugs, and encouragement that Zac can beat two Cancers.
Throughout the next 7 months we were always with Zac, either mum Helen, sister Beth or Dad Jason.
We were there when he couldn’t eat or drink for three weeks, and we slowly encouraged him and he got his appetite back.
We were there when his hair was falling out in chunks and I shaved it off
We were there when he collapsed on the way to the bathroom and caught him.
We were there to laugh, watch a movie, play a game, have a takeaway.
We were there when the hospital said “your levels are good today Zac you can have a few hours out” – not much good if he had no one with him.
We were there when Zac suddenly couldn’t stop coughing and medics said “we are just going to sedate Zac so he will stop coughing”, we said “love you mate see you when you come round”....29 hours later Zac passed away. We were there.
Zac passed away on 13th March 2016, 7 months after being diagnosed.
Teenage Cancer Trust and CLIC Sargent are calling for a commitment from the Government that, where possible, young people will be allowed a companion at key moments during cancer diagnosis and treatment.