A dad has said that he "refused to leave A&E" unless he was given a vital blood test after struggling to get an appointment with his GP.
Gareth Dixon eventually received the blood tests, only to be given the devastating news that he had terminal cancer.
The 40-year-old from Warrington had to endure a 20-hour wait in A&E, only to be told that he would have to go back to his GP, CheshireLive reports.
He had attempted to make an appointment after suffering from worsening symptoms of fatigue, thirst, and aches and pains.
Dad-of-two Gareth said that he repeatedly tried to make an appointment with his doctor, but was unable to get one face to face.
He says he could only get through on the phone, at which point he claims he was just told to go for blood tests several days later.
When he started suffering from chest pains 24 hours later, his family insisted he call 111.
During a 20-hour wait in Warrington Hospital’s A&E department, Gareth, who had been suffering from hip and rib cage pain, says he was seen by a doctor who reportedly told him to chase up an appointment with a GP.
“I just refused to go anywhere until they had given me a blood test,” said Gareth. “They basically told me there was nothing wrong with me. I wasn’t going to sit there for hours to be told nothing was wrong.”
Gareth's bloods were finally taken, he says, but he wouldn’t see another doctor until the following morning when a consultant arrived to inform him that he was suffering with an aggressive form of cancer – plasma cell leukaemia.
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His wife, Laura Dixon, says she was "heartbroken" on hearing her husband’s diagnosis and still has "breakdowns" every couple of days when the reality hits her that he is terminally ill.
“He is amazing,” said Laura, "I am so proud of him because he is just getting on with it. He is being really brave.
“I couldn’t stop crying when we found out. It was just heartbreaking.”
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Dr Paul Fitzsimmons, Executive Medical Director at Warrington and Halton Hospitals, said: "We are extremely sorry to learn of Mr Dixon’s diagnosis and do hope that he is keeping as well as possible under the circumstances.
"Upon presentation to us on March 6, 2022, some 48 hours after he had been in contact with his GP, Mr Dixon spent a total of 20 hours in our Ambulatory Care unit.
During this time we were able to carry out physical examination, a full range of tests and provide a definitive diagnosis, arrange referral to the consultant haematologist and an inpatient treatment plan for his condition.
"We have not received any complaints from Mr Dixon but do urge him to contact our PALS team on whh.pals.nhs.net if he wishes to raise concerns about any element of his care.".
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