Home Liver DiseasesLiver Cancer Tragedy of ‘sociable, outgoing’ gran who was tested for coronavirus but died of cancer just two weeks later

Tragedy of ‘sociable, outgoing’ gran who was tested for coronavirus but died of cancer just two weeks later

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Tragedy of 'sociable, outgoing' gran who was tested for coronavirus but died of cancer just two weeks later

A ‘sociable, outgoing’ gran from Blackley died of cancer just two weeks after being tested for coronavirus.

Denise Conroy, known affectionately as Dee, had a coronavirus test in hospital late last month.

She had been experiencing some pain down her side, and began suffering shortness of breath.

The family were relieved when the Covid-19 test came back negative.

But their worst fears came true when she was diagnosed with liver cancer a day later.

The 63-year-old gran-of-four died on July 6, just two weeks after the diagnosis.

Denise on the right and sister Liz on the left as children.

Her son Tom Conroy, 34, said: “It was all dead sudden. What had started it off was she’d had a fall a few months back. The pain was there for quite a while.

“She just had a pain in the side. She thought it was some sort of infection the fall had caused. She was given antibiotics. With things going on (with the coronavirus pandemic), it was a worry going to the doctors.

Denise Conroy died from terminal cancer.

“There was nothing else to suspect that there was anything seriously wrong. The thing that went through my mind was that she had a ruptured lung or broken rib. It was the out of breath thing that was concerning. The worry was that she might have coronavirus.”

She went to see a doctor again in late June.

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But when she got out of breath walking around the car park, they told her to go straight to North Manchester General Hospital.

It was there that she had the coronavirus test.

Denise Conroy’s grandchildren: Florence on the left. Bonnie (baby) Amelia holding Bonnie and Charlotte on the right.

Tom said: “The coronavirus test came back negative. She had a scan. (The results) came back 24 hours later – she had cancer of the liver. It was a complete shock, there was no worry or sense that it had been cancer.

“It was a relief that the (coronavirus test) was negative….all of a sudden you wish it had been coronavirus.”

Denise went home for a few days, before she was admitted to The Christie Hospital in Withington.

They did a biopsy to see if they could go ahead with chemotherapy.

She was treated at The Christie

“But her liver was in such a bad condition that she couldn’t have chemo. They said there wasn’t much they could do”, Tom said.

“She deteriorated quite a bit”.

Her liver was flushed out as it wasn’t functioning properly, but it was pretty much the only treatment she was able to have, he added.

Doctors also noticed cancer in her bowel. They were unsure where the cancer started, Tom said.

She died around a week after being admitted to The Christie.

Tom praised staff at the cancer hospital, saying she was treated with ‘unbelievable care and comfort’ in her dying days.

Her husband, and Tom’s dad David Conroy, was able to visit her every day.

Tom and his sister Jenny also visited their mum in hospital.

Denise Conroy died from terminal cancer.

Tom described his mum’s death as ‘a massive shock’. She was previously fit and healthy, apart from having high blood pressure.

She was rarely ill.

“We have got a great family, we are all quite close knit. We have been spending a lot of time together,” Tom said.

Dee was well-known in Blackley. She had worked at Bowker Vale Primary School, at first as a dinner lady then later as an office clerk.

When she retired she volunteered at the school, reading books to the children.

She loved walking – especially on family holidays in Abersoch, North Wales.

She was very close to her sister Liz, and was a beloved gran to Florence, Bonnie, Amelia and Charlotte.

Paying tribute to his mum, Tom said: “My mum was really popular. She and my dad had a lot of friends. She was outgoing, sociable, had a lot of friends – including my friends. When it was anyone’s 21st, she would get invited. She is very popular in Blackley.

“She wanted (me and Jenny) to do well. At the same time she wanted us to have a social life too.”

Tom is fundraising for The Christie Hospital in memory of his mum.

His ‘caring mum’ always preferred the thought of a charity donation to flowers, he said.

To donate, click here.



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