Family of Tysoe mum Katie Pritchard, 37, speak of their devastation after her death from the cancer she so bravely fought
The family of Katie Pritchard, 37, have spoken of their devastation after her death in June from the cancer she so bravely fought.
Katie’s story touched the hearts of many when it was revealed in February that, following misdiagnosis and delays in her treatment, expensive drugs only available privately were her last hope in fighting the aggressive cervical cancer she was suffering from.
The Tysoe mum told the Herald at the time: “We’re being positive. We’re hoping for a miracle.”
Moved by her plight, the community went into fundraising overdrive, and within just a few months the Gofundme page set up in her name reached £170,000.
Katie, who had worked as nurse manager for the NHS, married her long-term partner, teacher Tom Cronin, in March after being given just months to live.
The impromptu festival-style wedding at Alveston Pastures saw many give their services for free as friends and family gathered to celebrate the couple, who had been sweethearts since meeting at the Royal Oak, Whatcote, in their teenage years.
Chief among the wedding guests were the couple’s two boys: Percy, four, and Cass, three.
Heartbreakingly the longed-for miracle was not to be, and Katie died surrounded by her family on 17th June.
In an update, Tom touched on the last 18 months of Katie’s life.
“In late May, Katie’s cancer and pain developed further and we made the joint decision for her to move into Myton Hospice,” said Tom. “Pain, mobility and fatigue became a daily struggle. We were able to get a couple of hours a day with the boys in her room or playing outside. Due to the amazing work of Myton staff, she was able to have visitors, parties, trips to the pub, walks in the park and even got to see Cass at football training.
“Katie died with her family surrounding her on 17th June. The space she has left is irreplaceable and the pain of losing my best friend and mother to my two boys at 37 is indescribable. She was buried at Tysoe natural burial ground with a very small gathering of family and friends on 7th July.”
Although no doubt everyone who gave donated to Katie’s fund wouldn’t think of asking for their money back, Tom wanted to address what is happening with it.
He said: “Unfortunately, almost all of the money we raised was not able to be used for its intended purpose. I would, without question, exchange it all for another day with Katie.
“This is obviously not possible, so we are left with the question of what to do with the kind donations that people gave.
“My proposition is that we use the money to help reduce our mortgage. With a large mortgage, bills and our income halved, we will struggle to make ends meet. Reducing the mortgage would allow me to continue to do the things with the boys that they love. Clubs, trips in the van, swimming etc. It would allow me to put some of the money in a fund for the boys to get the experiences that Katie would have wanted them to have. School trips, special holidays, time away with their cousins and family. It is one of few ways that Katie can have a lasting impact on the boys throughout their childhood. On top of this, it could give the flexibility to be more present for the boys, giving them the love and attention that now comes from one parent, not two.”
Tom continued: “Although it was not where I wanted to be six months after our friends started this page, the support and help it gave Katie and I in our struggle will always remain as an immeasurable help. Thank you to everyone for your kind words and support.”
Tom can be contacted via the fund page should anyone have any queries – Fundraiser by Tom Cronin : Please help fund Katie’s cancer treatment (gofundme.com)