They are the forgotten victims of the corona pandemic — patients caught up in a devastating NHS crisis which is costing thousands of lives.
From a seven-year-old girl battling with seizures to a father-of-three who needs cancer surgery, every one of them has had their treatment put on hold while the NHS diverts resources to fight the virus.
And many of them believe it could result in their death.
Last Saturday, the Mail revealed the true scale of this emerging national tragedy.
Two million operations have been cancelled and an estimated 2,700 cancers a week left undiagnosed.
Lyla O’Donovan, 7, has a brain tumour and is ‘heartbroken’ the surgery she should have had last month is on hold because of the danger of catching Covid-19
In what doctors call the ‘collateral damage’ of Covid-19, nearly 1,800 extra deaths were recorded by the Office of National Statistics in one week last month, the highest number for nearly 20 years.
The Government wants hospitals to treat people in crucial need of medical help. But, because of the virus, operating theatres have been mothballed and wards closed.
For those who wait, the dreadful truth is that help may come too late.
Lyla O’Donovan, 7
Lyla has a brain tumour and is ‘heartbroken’ the surgery she should have had last month is on hold because of the danger of catching Covid-19.
The operation is to relieve pressure on her brain and stop her having seizures.
Her father, Paul, 35, a soldier from Co. Durham, says: ‘For every seizure she has, we don’t know the extent of the brain damage it’s doing.’
Reginald Waite, 82
The pensioner from Eaton, Cheshire, was diagnosed with cancer in March after a scan picked up a blockage in his bile duct, but has had a planned operation postponed.
Reginald, a retired electronics engineer, is worried his cancer will spread. ‘When are the hospitals going to treat people such as cancer patients and not just concentrate on Covid-19?’ he asks.
Reginald Waite, 82, from Eaton, Cheshire, was diagnosed with cancer in March after a scan picked up a blockage in his bile duct, but has had a planned operation postponed
Amelia Jones, 17
Amelia is missing the top of her skull because of emergency surgery after collapsing with a brain haemorrhage on January 3.
The craniotomy procedure was necessary to relieve pressure on her brain, but it has left Amelia with movement and cognitive difficulties.
Her prognosis is poor unless she has a further operation to replace part of her skull, a procedure called cranioplasty, which has been put on hold.
Her father Leighton, who is director of rugby at Marlow Rugby Club, says: ‘Amelia has a long way to go, but without this operation she can’t start.’
Amelia Jones, 17, is missing the top of her skull because of emergency surgery after collapsing with a brain haemorrhage on January 3
Kieran Crighton, 14
The wheelchair-bound teenager needs two operations — one on his leg to help him walk and another to drain fluid from his brain, but both are on hold.
Kieran, from North Ayrshire, has autism and was diagnosed with five brain tumours two years ago.
His mother, Senga, says: ‘I am very anxious for Keiran.’
Kieran Crighton, 14, needs two operations — one on his leg to help him walk and another to drain fluid from his brain, but both are on hold
Ceri Maddock Jones, 39
Mother-of-two Ceri was diagnosed with inoperable pancreatic cancer five years ago. Before the virus struck, she’d hoped to go on a med- ical trial.
‘The trials are the only option for me. Everything else has been exhausted,’ says Ceri, who lives in Ewell, Surrey, with husband Garry and their sons, Austin, six, and Leo, five.
‘I don’t want to die, for my sons’ sake. These trials were my last hope of keeping my family together a bit longer.’
Mother-of-two Ceri Maddock Jones, 39, was diagnosed with inoperable pancreatic cancer five years ago
Roland Monger, 39
Roland may have only months to live after his chemotherapy for the skin cancer he has been battling for four years was put on hold.
The university admissions manager from Torpoint, Cornwall, says: ‘It is my 40th in July.
I am aiming to make that. Maybe I will see the kids back to school in September.’
Roland Monger, 39, may have only months to live after his chemotherapy for the skin cancer he has been battling for four years was put on hold
Laura Beattie, 31
The fashion business owner, from Manchester needs a lung transplant after cystic fibrosis ravaged her own organs.
Laura has been on the transplant list for two years, but in March she got a letter saying her next test appointment had been ‘pushed back’ until August ‘because of coronavirus’.
Laura Beattie, 31, pictured left with sister Rachel, needs a lung transplant after cystic fibrosis ravaged her own organs
The risk of her getting an infection at the hospital filled with Covid patients is believed to have been the reason.
‘I am having monthly appointments over the phone, but the doctors can’t measure my lung function properly,’ she says.
Which means, crucially, they can’t assess whether it is declining because of the disease.
Chris Romney, 64, from Derbyshire, has advanced prostate cancer
Chris Romney, 64
The grandfather from Derbyshire has advanced prostate cancer and has had his surgery at Royal Derby Hospital postponed after facilities were given over to coronavirus patients.
Chris, a retired RAF fighter controller and Nato executive, now fears his life is on the line.
He said: ‘Cancer patients have been side-lined. Those like me who need urgent surgery face an increased risk of the cancer spreading, potentially fatally.’
Chris, who lives with his wife, Laura, says the hospital has told him opening up facilities to non-Covid patients will be a ‘long, complicated’ process.
Rob Martinez, 63
Rob, from Berkshire, suffers from osteoarthritis which is so severe he struggles to climb up and down stairs.
He needs both knee joints replaced, and was forced to take early retirement because of his pain.
Last year, he was given a date for his first knee replacement: April 15, at Frimley Park Hospital in Surrey. Rob was overjoyed.
Rob Martinez, 63, from Berkshire, suffers from osteoarthritis which is so severe he struggles to climb up and down stairs
But then he got a call to say all operations had been cancelled for the next three months — starting from the day of his surgery.
‘There’s going to be such a backlog after all this I dread to think what’s going to happen,’ he said. ‘There’s a worry that something like a knee replacement will be forgotten.’
Andy Gower, 53
The businessman from Milton Keynes has only the slimmest chance of surviving his colon cancer if his operation is delayed.
He was due to have surgery this month, but it was cancelled when his hospital was turned over to Covid-19 patients.
Andy Gower, 53, from Milton Keynes, has only the slimmest chance of surviving his colon cancer if his operation is delayed
Now Andy, a father of three, has been told it may be seven weeks before he can have an operation on his stage-three cancer.
He says: ‘If I get the operation soon, I have a 75 per cent survival rate, which is quite good.
‘But if it has spread to stage four beforehand, then my chances go down to ten per cent.’