Sam’s Updated Cancer Timeline

Sam is a long-term prisoner that has been subjected to intense medical neglect within the British Prison System. You can read Sam’s cancer story from 2015 – November 2017 here.

Below is an overview of what has happened since this post (and it’s not good news).

November 2017

In mid-November, Sam was taken to the local hospital to have her blood investigated. The doctor in the prison said the blood she has is too old to be simply from her anal canal and they think it’s coming from further up in her bowel.

Sam is finally taken for a colonoscopy on the 24th November. The doctor at the hospital didn’t get the sedation drug into Sam properly and ignored her protests that it had not worked, so she had the whole painful procedure with no pain relief other than gas and air.

December 2017

Sam is unlocked on the 4th December for a colonoscopy appointment. However, the nurse in the prison did not give her the pre-procedure medication the day before or tell her to not eat, and so the appointment is cancelled. She is unable to have any treatment until the colonoscopy is undertaken.

She is finally taken out on the 20th December for the second colonoscopy, however, they still cannot see the whole bowel. The doctor tells her she was meant to have these colonoscopies last year when she was at Peterborough Prison.

January 2018

Sam finally goes to Homerton Hospital on the 9th January for surgery. She was there for 2.5 days in total.

Sam was in theatre for 9 hours and they removed and lasered off as much of the cancer as they possibly could. Unfortunately, while doing it they can see that the cancer has spread. They took biopsies and Sam awaits the results.

Doctors at Homerton told her that Peterborough prison had not taken her to NINE appointments. They didn’t clarify if this meant nine cancellations. Apparently, sometimes the prison would not even cancel so they would assemble a whole theatre team and then Sam would not show up. She emphasised to them that she had no power at all over this.

On the return journey of over four hours, Sam asks to go to the toilet. They tell her she can only go in a prison or a police station, so they make her wait for over 2 hours (after having serious surgery in her anal canal) before getting her to a prison to use the toilet.

Sam is told she will have an MRI scan in April.

February 2018

Sam is taken out for a CT scan and another endoscopy on the 3rd February to investigate the source of the bleeding. They still believe the cancer is in her bowel but the laxatives to clear her out aren’t working.

On the 27th February, Sam has the results from the biopsies taken during surgery and they come back as pre-cancer (AIN3) and not cancer.

April 2018

Sam has still not been taken for an MRI scan.

Sam’s bleeding, sickness and fatigue increases. Finally, she is diagnosed as having an MRSA infection. She finally receives treatment and accesses some medication. They don’t know where she contracted it from, but she believes it is from the hospital where she was sat in her own excrement for more than 2 hours while pleading with the officers to let her shower.

May 2018

On the 8th May, Sam is meant to be taken to hospital for an MRI scan but isn’t (we learn this later that the prison failed to take her).

On 17th May Sam finally returns from Homerton Hospital. She had a second surgical operation, removing more of her lower bowel/rectum. Unfortunately, the tumours removed in January had regrown in the same place.

They told Sam they will not be able to do any further surgery because too much of her bowel has been removed already. They have taken more biopsies and she still needs an MRI scan.

Sam is told she will need to have chemoradiotherapy within the next 62 days. It will take place at Derby Hospital instead so she doesn’t have to travel 4+ hours each way.

Sam is now recovering from surgery and coping with the emotional challenges of still having a life-threatening illness, with fear and trepidation about the coming months ahead.

Click here to see how you can support Sam.