A mother with cancer has died after twice being told her persistent cough was probably due to coronavirus.
Beth Pattison, who had recovered from breast cancer twice before, spoke to a GP in March and an oncologist in May.
She died in June leaving behind a five year-old son, Finn. Her family is now urging the NHS to check for cancer as a priority if a patient has ever been diagnosed with the disease.
Newcastle Hospitals NHS Trust has been approached for comment.
Bridge End Surgery has offered the family its condolences.
Ms Pattison was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2016 and underwent a mastectomy and courses of chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
Negative virus results
In 2017 she had further chemotherapy after discovering another lump.
In March 2020 the 27-year-old visited Bridge End Surgery in Chester-le-Street because of a persistent cough and was told her symptoms were likely to be the result of Covid-19 which had begun spreading across the country.
During a telephone appointment with an oncologist at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary two months later, she was again told her illness was probably the virus, according to her father, Craig.
Ms Pattison was admitted to hospital on 8 June and was initially treated for possible pneumonia. A coronavirus test prior to her admission came back negative, as did two further tests taken while she was in hospital.
Her father said it took more than week until doctors investigated and found she had ovarian cancer, breast cancer and lung cancer.
Ms Pattison worked as a housing officer and died on 27 June in Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital after suffering a cardiac arrest while medics tried to place her in an induced coma.
‘All we’re asking’
“If there’s one thing Beth can leave as her legacy it’s that people who have had a previous diagnosis of cancer are checked for it first before other causes are looked at,” Mr Pattison said.
“Let’s make sure the horrible disease hasn’t come back. Get tested now. That’s all we’re asking.
“We’re not looking to blame any health professional because the care and support she received over four years was second to none and we think what the NHS has done, especially since March when the pandemic came along, has been superb.
“Beth wasn’t a victim of Covid, she was a victim of the circumstances caused by Covid.”
Bridge End Surgery said: “As always, we would reiterate to people that if you’re experiencing potential cancer symptoms, please get in touch with your GP practice.”