Hospital helps Ian to carry on cancer fight

A BRAVE man battling cancer for the second time in a year has heaped praise on staff at the town’s hospital for keeping him alive.

IT support worker Ian Thomas is undergoing his second six-month chemotherapy course in a bid fight off cancerous cells in his liver and lungs.

The latest diagnosis came just six months after the 57-year-old got the all-clear following treatment for bowel cancer.

Yet Mr Thomas, a keen cricket fan, said his spirits had remained high thanks to support at the oncology department at Weston General Hospital.

His praise echoes results of a major medical survey, released this week, which saw Weston General Hospital’s oncology services receive a glowing report from the 275 cancer patients questioned.

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Mr Thomas, of Purn Road, Bleadon Hill, said: “It’s one of those things you wish never happens to you, but when it comes along you have to deal with it.

“Of course, after beating bowel cancer it was a big setback when the cancer came back in two places, but I’ve just had to face up to it and try everything to stop it.”

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Chemotherapy has forced Mr Thomas to cut his hours as an IT support worker at HM Revenues and Customs in Bristol, but he is still able to travel the country for cricket and transport shows.

He said: “It is vital you stick to your daily routine, be around other people and don’t dwell on your own problems.

“Weston General Hospital has worked around my life, helping me carry on what I like doing.

“The staff have been extremely positive and given me hope that I can beat cancer again and stay alive.”

Mr Thomas’ opinion on the hospital was one of many voiced for the National Cancer Patient Experience Survey.

The hospital scored highly on providing information on support groups, explaining how patients can get financial help and getting seen to as soon as possible.

Hospital chief executive Lorene Read said: “The comments from the patients have been heart-warming to read, particularly because we want so much to do our best for our cancer patients, at such a vulnerable time in their lives.

“They clearly show their appreciation for having such an important service delivered close to home and for the dedication shown by our small clinical teams, who really get to know their patients as they make their cancer journey with us.”

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