A woman who claims she was dismissed by doctors and repeatedly sent home with painkillers has now been told she has stage four cervical cancer.
Steph Nally, 29, said she had visited her GP suffering with excruciating back pain on and off for four years and was eventually diagnosed with sciatica.
After noticing abnormal bleeding and fearing her illness was something more serious she requested a smear test but says she was told that as results from a test completed months earlier were clear, she could not have one.
Four weeks ago, Steph, from Wythenshawe, south Manchester, was diagnosed with stage four cancer. She began chemotherapy treatment last week.
She and her family are now speaking up to urge other people to press their doctors for tests if they feel something is wrong.
Debra Nolan, Steph’s mum, said: ‘She was given painkillers, they kept sending her home. No blood tests or smears took place. She asked for a smear.
‘Her last smear was in 2017, the results were all clear. But since then she had abnormal bleeding. They refused it as they said she is not due one.’
The family have vowed to help her fight the disease and are fundraising for immunotherapy treatment, which is only available abroad, including in the USA and Germany.
Steph, a nursery nurse, first started experiencing severe back pain after having her second child Blake four years ago.
When he was one, Steph collapsed with the pain and was rushed to A&E but says she was later discharged and told it was a slipped disc.
Each time she visited her GP, she says she was sent home with painkillers, but began to struggle to keep food and drink down around three months ago.
Steph went to A&E again, but says she was discharged with stronger painkillers.
Her GP then diagnosed her with a cyst in her ovaries. Debra insisted Steph, also mum to Lola, six, go back to the doctors and ask for antibiotics.
When she returned she says she was seen by a different doctor, who noticed she had a lot of swelling around her body. It was not until this point that Steph was given a blood test.
The next day she was told her kidneys were only functioning at 8%.
She underwent an operation and surgeons discovered tumours inside the urethra tubes – caused by the spread of cervical cancer.
Debra, 54, said: ‘She is so brave, I am so proud of her. She is staying positive, we don’t get upset in front of her. I just want to be positive and fight it as much as I can.’
Friends have created an online fundraising page with a target of £50,000, but more cash will be needed if she is accepted for treatment abroad.
Manchester United star Marcus Rashford and Coronation Street’s Brooke Vincent have also issued appeals for donations.
If you would like to make a donation please click here.