In a heart-wrenching story of missed opportunities, Jessica’s battle with cancer was tragically overlooked by GPs on multiple occasions.
Despite her persistent symptoms and pleas for help, she was repeatedly dismissed and misdiagnosed with conditions such as long Covid. It was only after seeking a private consultation that Jessica received the devastating news of her stage four adenocarcinoma, which had already spread to vital organs. Three weeks later, she tragically passed away.
Jessica’s symptoms were a puzzle that the doctors failed to piece together
From stomach pains to postnasal drip and a severe cough, her condition worsened over time. She experienced weight loss, constant breathlessness, and extreme fatigue. Despite numerous appointments and visits to the GP, not once was the possibility of cancer mentioned.
The Bradys, Jessica’s parents, believe that the healthcare system failed their daughter
They feel that if her case had been thoroughly examined and her symptoms considered as a whole, the outcome could have been different. Key moments were missed, and test results that should have raised alarm were overlooked. They are now campaigning for Jess’s Law, which would require a case to be reviewed after a patient contacts their GP for the third time.
The Bradys are determined to raise awareness about early cancer diagnosis and improve the detection of cancer in young adults.
They have met with the health secretary and received a verbal apology for the failures that led to Jessica’s late diagnosis. The Department of Health and Social Care has acknowledged that opportunities to diagnose Jessica sooner were missed and discussions with the family are ongoing.
The Royal College of GPs has committed to working with the Bradys to develop educational resources to support GPs in diagnosing cancer. However, their support for Jess’s Law, which would require mandatory referral after three patient contacts, is cautious and requires further discussion.
Next month will mark three years since Jessica’s passing, and her parents continue to struggle with the unimaginable loss
They have been contacted by other families who believe their loved ones were also let down by late diagnoses.
The Bradys hope that Jess’s Law could prevent similar tragedies in the future.
Jessica’s story serves as a reminder of the importance of listening to patients and considering the bigger picture when it comes to their health.
While the impact of the pandemic may have exacerbated her case, the Bradys believe that the mindset of the GP surgery contributed to the delays in her diagnosis.
In memory of Jessica, her parents have established the Jessica Brady Cedar Trust, a charity aimed at improving GP awareness and cancer diagnosis
They hope that by implementing Jess’s Law, other families can be spared the pain they have endured.
The words “Thank you, Jess” adorned a satellite launched on the day of Jessica’s funeral, honoring her work as a satellite engineer at Airbus. If Jess’s Law becomes a reality, it will undoubtedly bring comfort to families across the country, ensuring that no one else suffers the same tragedy due to missed opportunities in healthcare.
At Babble Health we are passionate about empowering individuals to become their own advocates in healthcare. We strive to revolutionize the healthcare industry by raising awareness and creating significant impact in areas such as genetics, cancers, and various aspects of healthcare. Through our innovative approach, we aim to bring about positive change and ensure that everyone has access to accurate information and personalized care.
Have you been diagnosed at a later stage? Have you been misdiagnosed? Have you got a story to share? We would love to hear from you at [email protected]