Parents pay tribute to brave Nigel

THE HEARTBROKEN parents of a man who died from a cancer which only affects one in a million people have paid tribute to the bravery of their scooter loving, sports-mad son.

THE HEARTBROKEN parents of a man who died from a cancer which only affects one in a million people have paid tribute to the bravery of their scooter loving, sports-mad son.

Father-of-one Nigel Parker was diagnosed with pseudomyxoma peritnoei , an extremely rare form of the disease, which spreads in the stomach.

The 32-year-old from Mistley, near Manningtree, began to feel unwell and his stomach swelled up but, as he was not in any pain, the painter and decorator joked he was just getting a beer belly and told his parents, Janet and Derrick not to worry.

But eventually the tumour grew so large that he could no longer breathe properly and could not bend down.

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Following a referral from his GP, he was eventually diagnosed with the cancer nearly two years ago.

Speaking at their home, Mr and Mrs Parker, said they had been unhappy about the way in which doctors at Colchester General Hospital had initially told their son he could not be cured.

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They said the terrible news had been broken to them on an open ward, with no sensitivity.

Mrs Parker said: “They did not deal with it very well, he was basically told to go home and get on with his life because there was nothing that could be done.

“We had to go home and look it up on the internet to find out what it was. We did not realise how serious it was.”

However, they said the treatment and care he received in both North Hampshire Hospital, Basingstoke, and at the Essex County Hospital in Colchester, had been magnificent.

The couple said Nigel, who has a 12-year-old son called Jack, showed amazing dignity and bravery, never complaining of the pain he was in before his death at St Helena Hospice, Colchester last week.

Despite his illness, the keen Liverpool supporter enjoyed a trip to Las Vegas with friends, and also went out to Germany to see England play in the World Cup this summer.

Mrs Parker said: “He lived life to the full and fought the cancer all the way to the very end, he was a very brave lad and all his mates have told us how he never complained once.

“He was a real gentleman throughout, he sometimes said he wished he could feel better because he lost his strength, but he was not bitter.”

One of Nigel's big passions in his life was his customised Lambretta scooter and he was a member of the Colchester and District Vespa and Lambretta Club.

He often went to scooter rallies around the country, including a visit to the Isle of Wight, and in a touching tribute his many friends from the club are planning to ride in unison at the front of the funeral procession on Tuesday.

His aunts Teresa Klammer and Wendy Davies, said staff at St Helena had been amazed by the strength Nigel showed to the end.

“The night before he passed away, he walked into the canteen with his brother holding him so he could get a drink, the doctors were amazed.”

Yesterday a spokesman for Essex Rivers NHS Healthcare Trust, which runs Colchester General Hospital, extended sympathy to the family.

He added: “We always aim to treat patients with dignity and respect and to be sympathetic to their needs and situation.

“However, we are also always willing to learn from experience and would welcome the opportunity to discuss any concerns that Mr Parker's family may have.”

n Mr and Mrs Parker have asked for any donations to be made to St Helena Hospice in Colchester or to The Pelican Cancer Foundation, The Ark, North Hampshire Hospital, Aldermaston Road, Basingstoke, Hants, RG24 9NA.

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