A young man has been given less than a year to live after a cancerous tumour was found on his heart.
Richie, 27, from Sydney, began feeling strange pains in his chest in mid 2020 and complained he was struggling to breathe, his girlfriend Stephanie told Yahoo News Australia.
After being urged to visit the hospital, doctors feared Richie had pulled a pectoral muscle by lifting something heavy — but he hadn’t been doing anything out of the usual.
To be sure, doctors performed a blood test, which flagged something unusual in his blood.
After further testing, the tall and fit 27-year-old was told a cancerous tumour had been found growing on his heart.
Doctors told the couple heart cancer is “very rare”, with only one in about one million people ever diagnosed.
Because of this, Richie has begun chemotherapy and a “trial and error” of treatments with the help and advice of doctors overseas.
One month ago they told Richie he may only live for another year, Stephanie said.
Doctors considered removing the tumour when they believed it was located close to his heart, but after learning it was on the muscle, they estimated a 17 per cent survival rate and declined.
After discussing Richie’s diagnosis with experts around the world, the couple learned a surgeon in the UK had successfully removed a tumour from a man who had the same type of cancer.
Approval to leave Australia amid Covid pandemic
Richie and Stephanie have been granted approval to leave Australia amid the Covid-19 pandemic to fly to the UK for surgery and are now trying to raise the $50,000 needed to get there and pay for it.
“We’re counting down the days until we get to go,” Stephanie said.
The 26-year-old said if they don’t take the chance, the tumour could kill him quicker.
She said Richie has astonished doctors with his resilience and attitude.
While the days following chemotherapy treatments are rough, Stephanie said Richie “deals with it and wants to get through and push through”.
“He’s the strongest person I’ve ever met for sure,” she said.
“Doctors are shocked at how well he feels and looks — his body is fighting so strongly.
“By this stage of his treatment he should be in a hospital bed, but he’s walking around.”
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