A brave cancer patient recorded a heartbreaking video from her deathbed after she was incorrectly diagnosed on multiple occasions by a hospital in the UK.
Mother-of-two Julie O’Connor was given the all clear six times by doctors only to be told years down the line by a senior gynaecologist that she had terminal cancer.
Over the course of three years, the 49-year-old had a smear test, biopsies and other clinical examinations at Southmead Hospital in Bristol but was repeatedly told there was nothing of concern.
It wasn’t until the nurse of 13 years then visited a private clinic that she received the devastating diagnosis.
Sharing the tear-jerking story with the public via Facebook, Julie, with the help of her husband Kevin, slammed health officials and called for an inquiry into cancer screening services at the hospital.
Speaking from her hospice bed, a visibly unwell Julie explained the intense suffering she has been through, all because of the doctors’ failure to identify the two-inch tumour.
“It’s disgusting,” the mother said in a whisper. “I have been suffering the way I have and will continue to suffer.”
While doctors at Southmead Hospital somehow missed the tumour numerous times, Kevin revealed it took a senior specialist at the private clinic just 10 seconds to discover it.
The heartbroken husband blamed the doctors for the misdiagnoses, claiming they should take full responsibility for what happened to his beloved wife.
“We hold them fully accountable,” he said in the video. “The pathologist and the gynaecologist, who had several opportunities to intervene, I hold them responsible, and I do hold the board of directors at North Bristol Trust accountable.
“They put me and Julie through this. What we want to do with this video is to show the board of directors what they’ve done.
“What they’ve done to me and Julie and our family. And I just hope this doesn’t happen to anybody else.”
The father also called for a full review of the services at the hospital, questioning how many more people are suffering like Julie did.
“Are there more victims out there?” he questioned in the video. “There are seriously, fundamental failings within North Bristol Trust cervical cancer screening and we just don’t want this to happen to anyone else.”
In a moment that broke hearts around the world, the video panned back to Julie as the man behind the camera asked what all this meant for her.
“I’m terminal,” the mother whispers. “I’m going to die in the next few days.” Sadly, that is exactly what happened. Only three days after the video was filmed Julie took her final breath.
Since the video was first published on February 1, it has been shared hundreds of times with many more sending support to Kevin and the couple’s children.
“So heart breaking for you all but what courage to share this to try to prevent it happening to others,” one person commented.
Another added: “Such a heartbreaking story. I hope you get the answers you need as a family, and the apology that you and your family so rightfully deserve”.
North Bristol Trust’s medical director Dr Chris Burton has since spoken out, claiming they are “extremely sorry” to hear the news of Julie’s death.
“We are committed to understanding the full circumstances of the care we provided so we can improve our services for the future, and we will be publicly open with the overall findings of the independent investigation we have commissioned.”