Mum, 35, learns she only has few weeks left to live after cough turned into devastating diagnosis

By Staff 8 Min Read

Joanne Kelly, a nursery nurse from Bury, Greater Manchester, was told on Good Friday she has terminal cancer after the mother of one suffered with a persistent cough

A mother was told she may have only weeks to live – after her persistent cough turned out to be a sign of cancer.

Joanne Kelly, 35, was given the devastating diagnosis on Good Friday following extensive tests at hospital. Her secondary bone cancer – a cancer that has started in another part of the body and has spread to the bone via the bloodstream or lymph nodes – is terminal and may kill Joanne within weeks.

The nursery nurse has been planning her wedding with Chris Wright, her partner of 12 years, but the family, from Bury, Greater Manchester, are now rocked by the discovery. Joanne’s 13-year-old daughter Mia said: “Mummy is so poorly she will not be able to win this fight.”

Joanne had a cough and aches and pains throughout her body and, after several trips to her doctor, was admitted to Fairfield Hospital in Bury and had further tests at Royal Oldham Hospital.

Chris’ sister Louise Blackmore, 43, said: “They (Chris and Joanne) were made for each other. Jo is so popular, loud and out there. She can’t go anywhere without bumping into people she knows.”

Rachel, also from Bury, told ManchesterEveningNews: “Chris says it takes about three hours to get around the shops with her. He’s the complete opposite – very quiet. Last time we got together. Jo and I were on the karaoke until 3am and he passed out at 11pm. She loud and funny, she’s a real character. Wherever she goes, she’s the centre of the room.

“She’s really family-oriented. Family is her absolute everything and she gushes over Mia. She’s a wonderful mother.” Describing how Joanne’s condition has deteriorated quickly, Louise said: “Within two weeks, Joanne’s gone from walking onto a bus to being not allowed to leave the hospital.

“Around December time, she had lurgy after lurgy and pains in her legs and it just got worse and worse. She had gotten to the point where she went to work and couldn’t sit down. It was actually my brother who said ‘look, this isn’t right, we need to get you down there [to the hospital]’.

“She had severe chest pains. She went into the hospital and was not expecting to be staying there, but her platelets dropped a ridiculous amount, which was making her develop severe bruises. She ended up having five bleeds on the brain.

“We were told there was a possibility that it was a form of blood cancer. When they thought they were dealing with blood cancer, they started on chemotherapy immediately.

“You could see the medical staff were panicked because they didn’t know what the root cause was and they thought there might have been an infection that was making her so poorly and that if they got that under control she would have a treatment plan and recover. The shock that that wasn’t the case was staggering.

“Last week, we were told it wasn’t good news and it was cancer within the bones. They’ve not reached the root cause of the initial cancer that set the secondary off.

“The staff nurses have said they’ve not seen anything like it. Joanne doesn’t smoke, she’s not a heavy drinker, she lives a healthy life. She’s just a normal girl, this could happen to anybody.”

Despite being in pain, Joanne insisted she was not poorly enough to take up a bed somebody else may need. “That’s Joanne all over, always putting others first,” Louise added.

Following the heartbreaking news that Joanne’s condition was terminal, Louise and several other family members have launched a fundraiser. Louise wrote on the JustGiving page: “Joanne’s primary concern and worry is the emotional and financial devastation her illness and inevitable passing will have upon the family. We have set this fundraiser in the hope of alleviating some of these pressures in these unbearable, cruel, devastating times ahead.

“If you can please donate or offer prayers for Joanne, Chris, Mia and her family for the dark times ahead, we can help to shine a light to bear a small proportion of this burden for them.”

To donate, click HERE.

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