Polegate woman’s tribute to dad who died day after cancer diagnosis

Lorraine lost her dad to cancer
Lorraine lost her dad to cancer

A woman from Polegate has described the heartbreak of losing her dad who died just 24 hours after he was told he had a terminal illness.

Lorraine Duffy, 51, said her father, Michael Daly, died one day after he was told he had pancreatic cancer and the tumour was inoperable.

The mum-of-two, said: “We can’t quite take it in. We’re all still reeling from the shock.

“Dad had only been taken ill just before Christmas and not for a minute did we think it would be cancer. The first time we heard the word tumour was the day before his death.

“It all happened so suddenly that we only discovered the type of cancer he had – pancreatic – when it was written on his death certificate.”

Lorraine, who is married to Sean and has two sons, Niall, 17, and Rory, 21, said her 82-year old dad had been fit and well prior to his sudden cancer diagnosis.

She continued: “He was one of these men who never complained when he was ill and never wanted to bother the doctor. He’d only been to hospital once prior to this in his life.

“But just before Christmas in 2013 we noticed he had started to look quite jaundiced. He put it down to a stomach upset but we insisted he go and get it checked out at the doctor’s.

“Dad’s GP gave him a blood test and then arranged an urgent hospital appointment, he then got a call asking him to go to Eastbourne District Hospital for further tests.”

Lorraine’s father was given an endoscopy and a CT scan and doctors confirmed that they had found a tumour.

She said: “We were told that his cancer was terminal and obviously that was a huge blow but dad still seemed OK, he was bantering with the nurses and telling us how much he wanted to go home, so we started to have hope that he would be home soon.”

But, after leaving the hospital and promising to visit her father again the following day, Lorraine received a phone call to say he had collapsed and died.

“I couldn’t believe it,” she said. “We didn’t even get a chance to say goodbye. Dad was a wonderful man. He and my mum had known each other since they were both ten years of age so, not surprisingly, she’s struggling.”

Now Lorraine and five other members of her family have signed up to take part in Cancer Research UK Race for Life at Eastbourne on June 22 to celebrate her father’s life and to honour all those still battling the disease.

Lorraine added: “He’s left a huge hole in our family but we’re determined to celebrate his life and honour him at Race for Life.

“Dad would have been so proud. We lost him far too suddenly but the legacy he’s left behind is a very loving, close family.”

Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life, in partnership with Tesco, is a women-only series of 5k, 10k events which raises millions of pounds e to help beat cancer sooner.

Lorraine will be joined at the event at Sports Park, Cross Levels Way, Eastbourne, by her two sisters and three of her late father’s granddaughters.

Although the number of people being diagnosed with cancer is going up, survival rates have doubled in the past 40 years.

To take part in Race for Life visit http://raceforlife.cancerresearchuk.org/