/Partner of tragic mum who refused NHS cancer treatment bankrupt after therapy costs

Partner of tragic mum who refused NHS cancer treatment bankrupt after therapy costs

The husband of a mum who died from cancer after rejecting NHS treatment has been left bankrupt by their fight against the disease.

Katie Britton-Jordan and her partner, Neil, 55, spent around £70,000 on a range of alternative treatments, including dendritic cell therapy in Mexico.

And Neil, speaking to Derbyshire Live , has now admitted that he now depends on benefits to raise their five-year-old daughter Delilah, and to care for his elderly father.

Katie, who died on May 25, aged 40, had chosen not to go through conventional chemotherapy and radiotherapy on the NHS when she was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer in June 2016.

Instead, she cut out meat and dairy from her diet, ate only organic foods and took supplements, all of which was already taking a toll on the family’s bills.

Despite having a mastectomy, by Christmas 2018, the cancer had spread to Katie’s lymph nodes, liver, lungs and bones and she was in a great deal of discomfort.



Katie, pictured with her daughter, Delilah, chose not to have chemotherapy or radiotherapy to treat her breast cancer

 

When doctors gave Katie just three months to live, the couple withdrew cash from their pensions and raised money from friends and family to travel to Mexico for dendritic cell therapy and other treatments.

One friend donated £9,000 from money left to her by her grandfather. Others donated amounts ranging from £5 to £1,000.

By the time 40-year-old Mrs Britton-Jordan arrived in Mexico she was very ill.

But her condition improved after the five-week treatment and her lymph nodes had reduced back to their normal size. She felt more comfortable.

In total the treatments, which included hyperbolic oxygen chambers, infrared heart treatments, cold laser therapy, blood transfusions, and dendritic cell therapy, among others, cost £70,000.

But it left the couple bankrupt and before long, Mrs Britton-Jordan became severely unwell again.

Neil said: “She was back in hospital and they said ‘that’s it – there’s nothing more we can do for you’.”

The couple met at a wellness weekend retreat in Glastonbury back in 2000, when Katie was 21 and Neil was 35.



The alternative therapies have left Neil bankrupt

 

They fell in love, started a jewellery business called Flash Jordan and eventually married in 2010.

Their first baby, Tilly Rose, was stillborn. Two years later Katie gave birth to Delilah.

It was in June 2016, when Katie was breastfeeding from her right breast that baby Delilah knocked her left breast and she felt an intense pain.

Doctors at the Royal Derby Hospital performed a biopsy and scans before delivering the devastating news a few days later.

Neil said with hindsight his wife would have chosen not to have the biopsy because, he said, stabbing the tumour releases cancerous blood cells into the body.

He added: “We were told in no uncertain terms that she needed chemotherapy, radiotherapy and a mastectomy, or she was going to die, and that was the only option.

“We said we wanted to think about our options. We became second-class citizens as soon as we said that.”

The couple trawled the internet and were faced with a “myriad of alternatives”.



Katie and Neil married in 2010

 

Katie opted to cut out met and dairy from her diet, as well as purchasing only organic food to eat.

After two years the lump in her breast had grown, but the hospital would only perform breast-removal surgery if she agreed to radiotherapy and chemotherapy too. Mr Jordan was appalled.

He said: “You can’t put conditions on an operation. Chemotherapy and radiotherapy are both poisons.”

Instead they travelled to Bradford in April last year and found an NHS surgeon willing to perform the mastectomy. The operation went well but complications followed and Mrs Britton-Jordan ended up hemorrhaging.

The tissue around her breast died and she was left with a “huge hole in her chest – an open wound right down to the muscle”.

The couple complained to the hospital but it was not upheld.

When the cancer spread to Katie’s lymph nodes, liver, lungs and bones in December 2018, the couple travelled to Mexico where the five-week dendritic cell therapy improved Katie’s condition.



By December 2018, Katie’s cancer had spread and she was very ill

 

Her lymph nodes had reduced back to their normal size.

But before long, Katie was back in hospital, with doctors saying there was no more they could do.

Neil said: “We had always talked to Delilah about how poorly she was. We explained that we were trying our best. But that day we came home and we told her. We had to tell her that Mummy was going to die.

“When she passed away all the family was around.

“I went outside with Delilah and we picked a load of flowers from the garden and we just placed them all around Mummy.

“She looked so beautiful and peaceful. She even had a little wry smile on her face.”

Mr Jordan kept his wife at home for three days after her death, and allowed his daughter to see her when she wanted.



Katie died in May this year

 

He said: “She had been in to see Mummy a few times, to give Mummy another kiss.

“At one time she was running around with bubble guns and playing. You could hear laughter. It was just lovely to see her accepting what had happened and getting on with life.

“She wanted to know why mum couldn’t be kept by the bed forever. That was a really difficult question that I couldn’t answer. We both had a cuddle and a cry.”

A celebration of Mrs Britton-Jordan’s life was held at Markeaton Crematorium and donations were collected for the Me & Dee Charity, which provided a holiday for the family before her death.

Mr Jordan said: “It really bothers me when you see adverts saying ‘we are winning against cancer’.

“We are losing hand over fist.”

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