Woman Dies After Battle For Cancer Drug

Mother-of-two passes away at Hammersmith Hospital

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A woman who was suffering from a rare form of cancer has died at Hammersmith Hospital, just weeks after winning the right to receive the drug she desperately needed on the NHS.

Nikki Phelps, who was from Kent, died at the Ducane Road hospital last week, surrounded by her husband Bill, mother Kay and sister Julie.

The 37-year-old had been suffering from glandular cancer and had initially been told by NHS West Kent that she did not qualify for Sunitinib - a drug that would have helped prolong her life.

By the time an appeals panel ruled last month that Phelps should be able to receive the drug on the NHS, she had already spent £6,000 of her own money on it. She was also about to sell her £200,000 home to acquire the much-needed medicine.

Following the appeal, NHS West Kent have agreed to repay the £9,150 total that the couple spent on the treatment.

Phelps, who was a former primary school teacher, was first diagnosed with cancer 10 years ago. She was given the all-clear in 2002 - but the disease returned five years later.

Two weeeks before her death, Phelps suffered a stroke and never regained enough strength for the next round of chemotherapy.

She leaves behind two-year-old twin sons.

May 17, 2010

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