The tragic early death of a young mum could save the lives of many others as grief and tributes pour in for her.
Alexandra Hodson died last week after a two year battle with cervical cancer.
The 26-year-old leaves behind her daughter Ella after being told that her symptoms were a side effect of her contraceptive injections.
Her family tried desperately to raise money to fund immunotherapy for Alexandra after her diagnosis in June 2018 but were told in April that it wasn’t working and that her cancer was now terminal.
After experience a range of symptoms such as bleeding and pain during and after sex, and bleeding between periods, Alexandra was told by a nurse that the symptoms were “normal” of the contraceptive she was using.
But knowing in her heart something wasn’t right, Alexandra, who is from Preston, went back to her doctor and during an internal exam, a tumour was discovered and she started treatment at Clatterbridge Hospital.
Following the sad news of her death last week, many women have now said they would be more willing to push for further tests, and to seek help when symptoms arise.
ECHO readers commented on Facebook to say that Alexandra’s death “should be a lesson to us all” as many shared their condolences with her family.
Natasha Park said: “I was told the same by a nurse, phoned doctors told them symptoms, I was automatically given an appointment to see a nurse.
“I was more or less told the same, that it’s the coil causing it.
“That was last year, I’m going to ring again as still having the same symptoms.”
Theresa Rogers also said: “That should be a lesson to us all to demand further examinations, be sent to hospital to find out, cause this is absolutely heartbreaking.
Dealing with grief and loss
If you have been affected by any of the details mentioned in this story there are people who can help you.
Most people grieve when they lose something or someone important to them.
The way grief affects you depends on lots of things, including what kind of loss you have suffered, your upbringing, your beliefs or religion, your age, your relationships, and your physical and mental health.
Grieving is a totally normal process but there are way to get help if you need support.
Your GP is a good place to start. They can give you advice about other support services, refer you to a counsellor, or prescribe medication if needed.
“Thoughts and prayers are with her little girl and her family.”
Others spoke out about how upsetting the news was to hear.
Joe Dutfield said: “That is tragic. What a beautiful young lady.
“Wishing her daughter all the best to grow up strong and brave.”
Paula Cassidy added: “This actually hurts my heart this could have all been prevented . My heartfelt sympathy to you all.”
In August 2019, Alexandra’s sister Nicola set up a fundraising page to get Alexandra immunotherapy but in April, her family were told it wasn’t working and that the cancer was terminal.
Symptoms of cervical cancer
The symptoms of cervical cancer are not always obvious, and it may not cause any at all until it’s reached an advanced stage.
This is why it’s very important to you attend all your cervical screening appointments.
According to the NHS however, these are some of the symptoms women with cervical cancer may experience.
In most cases, abnormal vaginal bleeding is the first noticeable symptom of cervical cancer.
This includes bleeding during or after sex, between your periods, after you have been through the menopause.
Visit your GP for advice if you experience any type of abnormal vaginal bleeding.
Other symptoms of cervical cancer may include pain and discomfort during sex, unusual or unpleasant vaginal discharge, and pain in your lower back or pelvis.
Advanced cervical cancer
If the cancer spreads out of your cervix and into surrounding tissue and organs, it can trigger a range of other symptoms, including pain in your lower back or pelvis, severe pain in your side or back caused by your kidneys, constipation, peeing or pooing more often than normal, losing control of your bladder (urinary incontinence) or losing control of your bowels (bowel incontinence), blood in your pee, swelling of one or both legs or severe vaginal bleeding.
Visit your GP if you have any concerns.
On August 8, Alexandra tragically died from her illness before her sister paid tribute to her on the GoFundMe page.
She said: “I never thought I’d be having to write an update like this and I wish I didn’t have to.
“We sadly lost my beautiful sister Saturday 8th August.
“She was so brave, strong and determined and she fought to the very end.
“We had the news in April that the immunotherapy had not been working and that Alexandra’s cancer was terminal which is why we turned off donations on the page.
“It was completely heartbreaking and due to covid we knew it meant that we would struggle to make some of the memories we would have liked to and to fulfill some of Alexandra’s bucket list.
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“We still managed to make memories as a family and we spent as much time together as we could.”
Nicola went on to thank those who had donated and supported her family through the difficult time.
She also went on to explain that the money raised would be split between Alexandra’s daughter Ella and to the charity Children with Cancer UK.
She said: “Just want to say a big heartfelt thank you to you all for your support, it meant so much to us how much people cared and it gave us an opportunity to try a treatment that could have been the one to save Alexandra, sadly it wasn’t meant to be.
“The money we have leftover from treatment as previously mentioned will go to Ella Alexandra’s daughter, which will be put into a trust fund for when she’s older and 5% to the charity Children with Cancer UK.”