When the UK refuses to perform surgery on you due to risk, what do you do? You only have 8 weeks to live because you've been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, which only has a 3.6% survival rate. Seriously, what do you do?
YOU DON'T GIVE UP.
Oh, and you head to Germany to get the surgery done at a private facility! Then, no matter how drastic the operation, you look forward to the rest of your life because it worked!
Dr. Michael Barsby did ALL of that, after initially being told he had eight weeks to live after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. His country told him the operation would not be carried out because of the risks involved.
Luckily, his prognosis improved to a 50 per cent chance of surviving a year once he started chemotherapy, and now 11 months on, he is cancer-free after a private operation in Germany — which removed his pancreas, along with his spleen, gall bladder and part of his stomach. Here's what he said:
"The risks are the same as with any operation in that complications can lead to death. I knew the risks but it was worth it. It was certainly better than the alternative."
Now, he is determined to raise awareness and money to fund research into pancreatic cancer which has the lowest survival rate of any cancer!
The biggest shock of all of this, other than his survival, is how he was leading a HEALTHY lifestyle, and yet it still got him:
"Being diagnosed was an incredible shock because I live a healthy life and had only just returned from a mountaineering holiday and felt fine. I didn’t feel unwell but the psychological impact of knowing that my cancer had been deemed inoperable was devastating, yet we didn’t want to give up."
We are SO glad you didn't!
We also hope your story give hope to those diagnosed with the terrible cancer going forward!
Even though the operation had left him diabetic and dependent on digestion medication for the rest of his life, we'd say it's all worth it. He's married and does have kids — as much time with them as possible would always be worth it!
Check out Dr. Michael Barsby in the video (above) for a glimpse at his journey!