Beth Fitzpatrick loved to sing, dance and act. She loved Wicked!, Legally Blonde and any other musical you could think of! By the age of 14 she had performed on stage numerous times, had performed in the West End. She was 14 when she was diagnosed with a very rare form of cancer called Neurodocrine carcinoma which is normally only found in adults. It was in her pancreas, stomach lymph nodes and liver. She began her chemotherapy on Christmas Eve 2010.
Because of where Beth's tumours where she was always a lot sicker than me, often throwing up and being unable to eat. I have to say I often felt sorry for her because she was younger than me and I wish it had been me that had been throwing up and unable to eat rather than her.
Beth's first scan results in January revealed that her tumours had stayed the same and the chemotherapy hadn't shrunk them, but they hadn't grown at all and the sickness which was being caused by the tumours in her stomach had lessened slightly.
She continued with chemotherapy and was very ill. She got many infections and needed blood transfusions. I helped as best I could, telling Beth and her Mum to ask the nurses to start them as early in the morning as possible so they can get home quicker, and showing them how to work out how much longer the blood would take to infuse. Waiting for blood or hydration to finish is the most boring waiting game you can imagine.
|Beth's Mum, Alison (Left), Beth (Centre) and Beth's Dad, Ed (Right)|
She was in with an infection when I started my high dose chemotherapy (at the beginning of March 2011) and she was very ill, being confined to an isolation room. She had scans on all her tumours in mid March.
|Beth Fitzpatrick and Angela Griffin at the Ward 78 Official Opening|
19th March 2011.
On Monday the 21st of March Beth received her scan results. They showed that her tumours had spread and her liver was starting to fail, causing her body to stop draining fluid. She was told that there was nothing they could do and that she was dying. They offered her surgery on her liver but there was a chance she would die during the operation and they also offered her more chemotherapy but she refused both. She'd had enough of hospitals and of being ill and decided to go home.
Sometime the bravest thing to do isn't to fight on. Sometimes the bravest thing is knowing when to stop.
I remember sitting in room 8 and my Mum coming in crying. She told me that Beth was going home. I wasn't allowed out of my room because I had no defence against infections and Beth decided not to come see me because she was worried about upsetting me. I tried to get out my room to see her but I wasn't allowed because if I got an infection I would most likely die. Not leaving my isolation room to see Beth one last time will always be the biggest regret of my life.
Beth spent the next two weeks with her parents, listening to her favourite music and just being with her family. She slept a lot, but she wasn't in any pain.
On the evening of the 2nd of April, Beth said goodnight to her parents and told her she loved them, before going to sleep.
On Sunday the 3rd of April, Beth gave her Mum her card she had spent three hours making for her. She passed away that morning.
It was Mother's Day.
|Beth Fitzpatrick on Ward 78.|
RIP Beth Fitzpatrick.