Louise Cocker has experienced the devastating consequences of gerd / gord with the loss of her father, Pop, to the disease. It’s an acute reminder of how simple heartburn can have a serious outcome. Here is her story.
“My Pop had suffered with indigestion and heartburn for years. None of us thought much about it. Pop avoided spicy food and took Gaviscon.
We now know that this was Barratts disease, a precursor to cancer of the oesophagus. If only we had made him go to the doctor, the outcome could have been so different.
Pop died last November, having been diagnosed with oesophageal cancer in June. He was on a strong painkiller for back pain that is known to have a side effect of indigestion. When Pop went to the GP they said it was due to the gabapentin and prescribed indigestion relief.
When Pop went back a third time after having a terrible experience where clear fluid started coming up, they eventually booked an endoscopy.
Due to having to retake tests and wait for scans, we were eventually told it was non operable about 2 months later. Pop started chemotherapy in September – unfortunately it affected him very badly. At the end of September he was admitted to hospital in chronic pain. Three weeks later he was admitted to St. Elizabeth’s hospice. He deteriorated and never left. His loving family were with him when he died.
Around 300 people attended his funeral, 3 local football cups have been named after him. We are so proud of how well thought of he was and how many people’s lives he touched.
He was a lovely man, full of character, who should still be with us enjoying his Granddaughter, my daughter, who was born only 2 months before he died.
If only we had raised the indigestion and heartburn with the GP years ago, Pop could have received treatment for Barratts and had regular checks. The cancer would not have been able to take hold.
Mum and I really want to raise awareness so less people die from this horrible disease.”
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