The family of a 27-year-old woman who died from cancer say she was ‘neglected’ by healthcare services that ‘didn’t take her seriously’.
Latifah King, from Syston died on February 10, seven days after being diagnosed with epithelioid sarcoma, a rare, soft-tissue cancer.
But in the months leading up to her diagnosis, Latifah’s family say not enough was done to help her.
Latifah was suffering from severe pain in her leg in October last year. She was told she had sciatica and that a lump she felt under the skin was due to a knock or fall.
She was prescribed codeine to manage her pain but her mum, Lizzie Molyneaux said she “knew something wasn’t right”.
She said Latifah continued to call the doctors and A&E throughout November and December as the pain continued.
Lizzie told LeicestershireLive: “I knew it was something really bad when she didn’t come for Christmas – she would never have missed that.”
Latifah was called into hospital for a scan following numerous calls to A&E.
“She rang me and said a Macmillan nurse called her to have another scan but she was too poorly to get to the hospital,” Lizzie said.
Before Latifah went into hospital, Lizzie went to visit her daughter at home, where she saw just how unwell Latifah was.
“She’d lost nearly four stone, she didn’t look well at all.
“I just looked at her and I knew – I knew it was bad, but I couldn’t say anything,” she said.
Latifah was taken to hospital where biopsies were carried out in her hip and neck.
At the beginning of February, the results revealed she had stage four, epithelioid sarcoma which was too advanced to be treated.
“The doctors had been pushing her aside saying it was sciatica,” Lizzie said.
“But then they rang me to tell me to say it was stage four cancer and it was very aggressive and all of a sudden she had between a few months or a year to live.
“She was neglected because she’s young and they probably thought it was nothing and she’d be fine.”
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Latifah’s condition declined quickly and her mum decided to take her home from the hospital so she could spend her last days by her side.
She passed away at home on February, 10.
“Latifah would do anything for anyone. She would look after everyone,” Lizzie added.
“Everyone loved her – her nieces and nephews loved their auntie.”
Now the family want answers as to why Latifah’s diagnosis was so late and “an acknowledgement that [doctors] were wrong in how they handled things.”
“I know Covid-19 is a problem right now but there should still be something in place for people who need treatment and need help.
“If I can save another family from going through this, that’s all I want,” Lizzie said.
A spokesperson for Leicester’s Hospitals said: “We offer our deepest condolences to Latifah’s family. We encourage them to contact us and the other NHS organisations involved directly to enable the concerns they raise to be investigated.”