A DEVASTATED mum says her "whole world came crashing down" when doctors discovered their diagnosis of pregnancy cramps was actually terminal cancer.
Dina Ahmed, 29, fears she may miss out on seeing her two young sons grow up following the sudden diagnosis.
The 29-year-old says she first knew something was wrong during the summer, when she suffered agonising headaches and back pain which left her unable to sleep at night.
But as she was pregnant at the time, Dina says doctors disregarded her complaints for months, and claims she was told: "It’s just pregnancy-related, don’t you worry”.
Despite returning to A&E weekly due to the excruciating symptoms, it took four months before staff at Queen's Hospital in Romford referred her to a neurologist.
Dina was then stunned to be told that she had inoperable lung cancer, just two weeks after giving birth to her son.
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After the true extent of her prognosis was discovered in November, a doctor later apologised to her devastated family and admitted to making an "error" when looking at a crucial X-ray scan.
The 29-year-old, from London, is now desperately seeking emergency treatment in Japan as a last resort.
And after starting a fundraiser to pay for the treatment, the young mum's family say they are "overwhelmed" after raising over £79,000 in just two days.
Speaking to MyLondon, her brother Imad said: “I do understand in at least 75% of lung cancer cases they get detected late but the service we received from the NHS is beyond belief.
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“I don’t want to slate them overall, it’s no individual’s fault.
"What we really want out of this is an awareness that if anyone, regardless of if they’re pregnant or not, comes in to complain once a week to A&E to complain of severe migraines, they need to be put through that MRI and CT scan machine immediately.
"For Dina, the cancer had spread and that’s what was causing the migraines and her loss of vision.”
Despite months of complaints, it was only after being left bed-ridden due to agonising back and pelvic pain that Dina was eventually referred for an MRI scan.
But while it showed a growth on her brain, the doctor said “they didn’t know what it was” and insisted on only doing another one after she’d given birth.
The results came back and they said it’s stage four lung cancer – there’s nothing we can do about it.
During this time, she was also referred to to Moorfields Eye Hospital after drastically losing 60-70 per cent vision of her in both eyes.
A second MRI in October found that the growth had become "really extensive", and Dina was told she had to undergo a biopsy.
Imad continued: "They also did an X-ray at that time at King George’s Hospital, that came back in as clear.
"They said the X-ray came back clear but they said we’d still need to do a biopsy and booked it in for two weeks' time.
“I had a word then, I said 'this isn’t fair you need to do a biopsy as soon as possible’.
"In between this, she was also in and out of Moorfields with lost vision and all this time it was the cancer, growing behind her eyes and causing the fluids to build up.
"Fast forward to the end of October, the results came back and they said it’s stage four lung cancer, there’s nothing we can do about it."
It was only at this stage that a doctor admitted they had made an error with Dina's X-ray, and just two weeks after the mum gave birth she was told she had inoperable non-small cell lung cancer.
By the time it had been diagnosed, the cancer had already spread to her brain, bones, back, ribs, eyes and possibly to a lesion in her liver.
'WHOLE WORLD CAME CRASHING DOWN'
Now hoping to travel to Japan to receive alternative cell therapy treatment, the mum said in her fundraiser that the sudden diagnosis caused her "whole world" to come crashing down.
"This has not only changed my life but my whole family’s world has also turned upside down and come to a standstill," she said.
"It came as a massive shock for us all. Lung cancer is generally associated with smokers, however I am a non-smoker.”
Dina is currently undergoing palliative care with the NHS and is receiving radiotherapy to the brain to aid her symptoms.
But while her current treatment only aims to manage the disease, she is hoping to undergo immune-strengthening endritic cell therapy and NK cell therapy in Japan – which are unavailable on the NHS.
Dina says she hopes the treatment will give her "a chance to live and raise my two boys."
She added: "I will be leaving my 8-week-old behind, and I am willing to bear that temporary separation from my baby boy if it means I can be there for him every day for the rest of his life.
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The family say they are considering legal action for clinical negligence after Dina's ordeal.
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