Brave Tanya's tragic fight for life

By Roddy AshworthTHE parents of a mother-of-two who died of breast cancer are considering legal action against a health trust, which they claimed failed in their diagnosis and treatment of her illness.

By Roddy Ashworth

THE parents of a mother-of-two who died of breast cancer are considering legal action against a health trust, which they claimed failed in their diagnosis and treatment of her illness.

Tanya Martin, 28, from Chelmsford, was allegedly told by doctors not to worry about a lump in her right breast because she was aged under 35.

However, she insisted on an appointment at a breast screening clinic and, after a three-month wait, was seen in Chelmsford last December.


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Initially, one doctor allegedly told Tanya she would have to wait two weeks for a biopsy, but she was insistent and demanded one that day.

Later the doctor allegedly said he was 99% sure she did have cancer and that was confirmed two weeks after an ultrasound scan at the clinic.

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Tanya Martin, a former RAF senior aircraftswoman, of Cherwel Drive, decided she wanted to have a mastectomy.

However, medics decided chemotherapy was the better option, but when that failed to tackle the problem, her breast was removed in April this year.

Tragically, it was too late for Tanya. Doctors found two spots on her brain and the cancer spread and she died on August 15.

Her parents, Roy and Joy Martin, have moved into their daughter's house to look after her two children, son Rees, four, and daughter Farradeh, two.

The couple said last night they were considering legal action against the Mid Essex Hospital Services Trust, alleging negligence in the children's name.

“It was the time she was made to wait to be seen by the breast clinic,” said Joy Martin.

“The first doctor said it was probably a hormonal lump. She saw a different doctor, who agreed to refer her to the clinic, but he insisted it was probably a cyst because she was under 35.

“However, when he tried to drain the fluid out and couldn't, he tried four times to get the breast clinic to see her as soon as possible.

“They refused because of her age. The system has got to be changed. It doesn't matter what age you are, you can still get breast cancer.”

Mr Martin added: “I feel angry because she has been taken from us when at least we might have had a couple or more years. We are not looking for sympathy, we want the system changed.”

The couple said lawyers were conducting an investigation into whether they could take legal action on behalf of their daughter's two children, whom they plan to adopt.

“The solicitors said it could take up to five years if it goes to court. It was very traumatic for the children, especially Rees,” said Joy Martin.

“He saw his mum go in and out of hospital and visited her with a drip in. He saw her being taken away in an ambulance. Although we tried to explain, he's too young to understand.

“They are now a lot better. They ask a lot of questions. It seems so wrong that the clinic couldn't see a young woman with two children sooner - two children who are now without their mum.”

A spokesman for the Mid Essex Hospital Services Trust said: “We would like to express our condolences to the family of Tanya Martin on their sad loss.

“However, we have no record of any communication or complaint from the family and until we do so we are unable to comment further.

“Should the family wish to make a complaint, we will of course sympathetically and fully investigate the situation for them.”

roddy.ashworth@eadt.co.uk

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