A dad struck down with terminal bowel cancer may never get to meet his unborn child, his sister has said.
Andrew Wreford, 37, was given the devastating diagnosis in February last year and underwent chemotherapy treatment which he was told would leave him infertile. But in January, the 37-year-old and his partner Rachel Mitton, 36, were stunned to discover they were expecting their third child together.
Sadly their joyful news quickly turned to heartache as Andrew was told by doctors his cancer had taken a turn for the worse. He now has only months to live and fears he may not survive to see his “miracle” baby due in September.
The dad-of-four decided he no longer wanted to continue chemotherapy after it made him really sick and because there was no guarantee it would make him any better.
His older sister Jackie Hamilton, 48, flew back from Australia to support him and said her family had originally believed his condition could be managed and treated. But a few months later they were given the terrible news that the disease had spread to other organs and was terminal, prompting doctors to revise his survival time down from a few years to just several months.
Jackie said: “At first, we were down but knew it could be treated these days. He went for another scan in May and they found that it had metastasised to his liver and lung and there was nothing that we could do.
“We managed to have some family time then from mid-February he went downhill and ended up having to have a stoma put in. There has been no comeback.
She added: “He has dramatically changed physically. I was heartbroken when I got here. When he went to that next level, he couldn’t even talk to me. He sleeps a lot and does not eat much. It was really heartbreaking to see him wasting away. He is 6ft 2 and was always big and strong.”
She went on: “He went to see the oncologist last week. They said if he was going to have chemotherapy again, it was now or never but they couldn’t guarantee it was going to make him any better. It is upsetting for all the family, but we are not going through it, it is not our body.”
The self employed carpenter and dad-of-four is now being looked after by Rachel at home in Bradford, West Yorkshire, and is finding it difficult to breathe. He has been spending most of his time in bed and focusing on managing his pain, but admitted he fears not being around to meet his child.
He said: “I’m scared about how is Rachel going to cope without me but excited about the fact we’re having another child. I’m also emotional that I’m not going to be around to meet my son.”
Rachel said she was “heartbroken” to be losing her “rock and best friend”, but said their new son means a part of Andrew will live on. She said: “Me and Andrew had wanted another child so, it was just meant to be - our little light in the dark. As heartbroken as I am about having to bring up our children without my rock and best friend, this baby means another part of Andrew will always be with me - a true gift.
“I couldn’t quite believe the timing of the pregnancy and I was quite anxious about it initially, with Andrew’s health being my priority. But life should always be celebrated and I know this baby boy will bring everyone some much-needed love and joy, even in the hardest of times.”
Jackie has now set up a GoFundMe page to help provide financial support for the family, as Andrew is no longer able to work. She is hoping £5,000 to help pay for funeral costs and to ensure the Andrew’s family and new baby are supported.
She described the news that Rachel had fallen pregnant as “bittersweet”, but echoed her sentiments that another piece of Andrew was always going to be with her.
She said: “It is bittersweet, mixed feelings. He is never going to know his dad and my brother might not be able to see his baby being born in September. [But] it is lovely for Rachel to have another part of him.”