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Fran Blount, 22, died of skin cancer - family ask did GP let her down?
The family of a young woman who died after skin cancer spread to her brain are demanding to know whether doctors could have diagnosed her earlier.
University graduate Fran Blount, 22, died on July 7 following a brain tumour after the melanoma – skin cancer – she developed in a mole spread.
In the run-up to her death, the talented photographer who worked with Gok Wan had complained of headaches before eventually collapsing and being rushed to intensive care and undergoing emergency surgery.
Her mother Jane accepts that Fran might not have been saved, but feels more should have been done to uncover her illness.
She told how in December, Fran, who is from Shoreham, but studied digital media at university in Aberdeen, found a lump in her leg, which was diagnosed as melanoma.
In January this year medics said she was doing well and that they would not need to see her until August. However, around April she started feeling very ill, complaining of sickness and headaches.
Fran went to her GP in Shoreham four times during this period. Her mother Jane, 48, told The Argus her doctor at the surgery said she was suffering from sinusitis (blocked sinuses).
But the young woman was, her mother believes, already suffering the effects of a brain tumour that would kill her within weeks. Jane said: “The doctor was aware that Fran had melanoma.
She was already unwell but when she came to him he kept saying it was sinusitis. At one point the GP actually asked her what she thought it was.
She said: ‘Have I got a brain tumour?’ “She said he just sat and looked at her.
Fran was only 22. She was a quiet, private person.
She was so anxious about feeling so ill and she knew she had cancer – she knew what that meant.”
Her mother, who said she was so far too “shell-shocked” to complain to the NHS, recalled how she returned from work in April and Fran said: “I am so glad you are home – I feel awful.”
She added: “Fran was throwing up every ten minutes. I don’t know how, but I managed to get her to Worthing Hospital, and there she had a seizure.
From there she went to [specialist brain injury hospital] Hurstwood Park in Haywards Heath.
She had emergency surgery and chemotherapy but it was too late.” Fran was looked after in St Barnabas Hospital, in Goring, Worthing, where she died.
Her mother said: “Fran was lovely. She was really talented.”
Her boyfriend of more than seven years, Martin Reavy, 25, said: “She was such a loving person.”
An NHS England spokesperson said: “We are very sorry to hear about Ms Blount’s death, and offer our deepest condolences to her family. We are not able to comment on individual patient cases, and as the family have not contacted us directly about this matter, we cannot comment any further at this stage.”
The GPs’ surgery declined to comment due to patient confidentiality.
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