Meet Keith and Maria from Thurrock
Keith is a 68 year old grandfather of six and a great grandfather to one. He and his wife Maria live in Thurrock.
In June 2021, Keith was invited on to the Targeted Lung Health Checks screening programme. Having been a smoker, and moving to e-cigarettes five years ago, Keith felt sure that there was probably something not right with his lungs. He had been feeling breathless, and hadn’t sought help from the doctors, so when this invitation arrived, it was at the right time.
“It was all really simple, I did the phone call, they invited me really quickly for a CT scan, which was fine, then they said they found something, I went to Southend Hospital for PET Scan, then lung function tests. It all happened so quickly.
“Then they told me I had cancer, a 3.5cm tumour in my lungs, before I knew it I was in surgery having the tumour removed. This part was successful, but recovery has been difficult.
“I won’t lie, this hasn’t been easy, it’s knocked me for six but if I hadn’t have taken up the offer, it could have been a lot worse. I feel like the hand of God came down when the lung check invite arrived.”
Keith’s wife Maria explained that he had worked on roofing and with asbestos too and coupled with smoking and his breathing problems, she was keen he took up the lung health check.
Keith’s advice for others who feel scared to find out if they have a problem with their lungs is this:
“Take up your invite, you might be all clear, or like me they might find something and yes it will be hard to cope with, but it could save your life. Also pack up smoking, it does you no good!”