A father has told of the tragedy of his daughter being diagnosed with cancer just two weeks after having a stillbirth.

Hayley Oakley, originally from Steyning, and her husband Ben, 33, suffered the loss of their daughter, Erica Rae, last November two weeks before she was due.

The 34-year-old then started to feel sharp pains in her abdomen after going home from the hospital and was diagnosed with stage two B-Cell follicular lymphoma just before last Christmas.

Hayley’s father Martin Coleman, from Steyning, said: “Finding out you have cancer when you have already got grief is shocking.

“It was just like another bolt from the blue.

“It is very hard. It is such a difficult thing.

“Doctors indicated that having cancer didn’t make a difference to her losing the baby.

“They say now she may well have had cancer for two years that had gone undetected.

“During her pregnancy she had the same pains then. All the way through the hospital thought it was just indigestion.”

Mr Coleman said after losing her hair while having chemotherapy, Hayley, who now lives in Australia, was reluctant to have video calls with them as they normally would.

He said: “The first time my wife saw her like that she just broke down in tears. Living thousands of miles away is very tough.

“We have just got to hope and pray.”

Hayley is now in her last stages of chemotherapy before being expected to undergo a further two years of immunotherapy.

She used to work as a graphic designer at The Argus between 2004 and

2009, before leaving to

travel in Australia and train as a teacher, where she met Ben.

The couple came back to the UK in August 2016 to get married before returning to live in Australia.

Mr Coleman said Hayley now wants to warn other parents who may have to go through a similar situation to be aware of the risks while pregnant.

He wants to help her get the message to other parents after his son also had a stillborn child three years ago.

Cancer treatment in Australia is expensive for the couple, with Hayley

still waiting to become a resident.

Mr Coleman said that one scan alone cost the couple 1,000 Australian dollars and Hayley previously had to have four in one week.

The couple’s family and friends have been raising money to help them pay for treatment and are continuing to do so in the coming months.

To donate to help the couple visit justgiving.com/crowdfunding/hayley-ben.