An NHS trust has made a dramatic U-turn after a cancer survivor refused to give up her battle for a life-changing operation.
After beating cervical cancer 17 years ago, Mary-Ann Wood, 53, discovered she had lymphoedema – causing one leg to swell to more than two stone.
Mary-Ann, who lives in June Meadows, Midhurst, was left devastated when the NHS Coastal West Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group (WSCCG) refused to fund an operation on her leg as there was ‘no evidence of the clinical effectiveness’ of the procedure.
But now the WSCCG has decided to fund the operation which will reduce the swelling on her leg and help her mobility.
“It was so out of the blue,” said Mary-Ann.
“It won’t be a cure, but it will make life easier.
“My family are so excited. I was in the middle of doing my shopping when I had the news.
“I couldn’t believe it. I just spent the first week on a cloud.
“I had such a great response after the article was published in the Observer so I really wanted to tell the community the news.
“I have no idea whether the front-page article and the story also being on the Daily Mail and Daily Express had any influence on the decision, but I don’t think it did any harm.
“The only stipulation the WSCCG made is that it has to be done by a surgeon in Dundee, but that’s fine because that is the surgeon I went to see previously.
“I would like to thank WSCCG for reconsidering.”
Mary-Ann is still fundraising £2,500 for a lymph assist machine which will help her condition and when she has reached her total, she aims to carry on raising money to help others.
She also helps run a Chichester Lymphoedema Support Group which helps people manage lymphoedema.
The group will meet on September 18 at 11am at the Chapel Street Clinic in Chichester.
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