A Scot has told how he was sent home with antibiotics after docs thought his aggressive cancer was an upset stomach.
Ex-care home worker Stevie Pearson went to his GP after becoming seriously unwell in July 2019, only to be told he was suffering a tummy bug.
But after going home with medication, the cramps got worse and the 59-year-old, from Linwoood in Renfrewshire, went in for scans.
It was then medics discovered a tumour in his bowel.
Speaking to The Record, Stevie said: “I became really unwell in July 2019 and went to see my GP.
“They thought it was just a tummy bug of some sort and put me on antibiotics.
“But the pain and the cramps got worse and I was booked in for a scan and they spotted a tumour in my small intestine.
“They kept me in and removed it the following day in an emergency operation and referred me to the Beatson Cancer Centre, in Glasgow.”
An oncologist at the centre told him the disease had spread to his liver and that it had progressed to stage four.
He was put on his first course of chemotherapy which he completed in May 2020.
He started his second round of treatment in November 2020 but his health took a turn for the worse.
And at his most recent appointment, Stevie decided along with the doctors to stop the chemo – his team said the best they could do was manage the pain as things progressed.
But Stevie and Karen White- his kindhearted sister who moved from Northern Ireland to help her brother – refused to give up and started looking for alternative therapies on the internet.
They discovered Proton Therapy Treatment, which has a good success rate but is only available through private health care.
They found clinics in England and Prague that carried out the treatment that costs about £80,000 to complete.
A charity drive has since been set up to help Stevie fund the treatment.
Karen said: “How Stevie has remained so strong throughout this time has been pretty amazing and he has showed great courage and tenacity.
“But I realised without an alternative plan we would have to watch him slip away and I was not prepared to do that so I did some research and discovered Proton Therapy.
“We are currently in communication with clinics in Prague and England about treatments which we hope will extend his life expectancy and give him a better quality of life.”
Stevie is a hugely popular figure in his community.
He worked as a maintenance engineer in an Aberdeen nursing home for years before giving up to look after his own elderly parents.
They both had dementia and struggled to live on their own and the family were hugely concerned about their future.
But Stevie selflessly decided to leave Aberdeen and become their full time carer.
Tragically after just two years of care giving he lost his mum in May 2018 and shortly after he lost his dad.
Karen added: “If anyone deserves to get this kind of help, it’s Stevie. He’s given up so much to help others – whether that was working in the care home or with mum and dad.
“We just want to do everything we can to extend his life expectancy and try and give him a better quality of life.”
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde declined to comment.
To find out more about Stevie’s battle visit the GoFundMe page here.