Northampton dad lost sister the day she was diagnosed with cancer at Kettering hospital
A Northampton dad is training for his first London Marathon in memory of his younger sister, who died at Kettering General Hospital the day she learned she had cancer.
Eric Pratt's sister Rosie was a "happy-go-lucky, sociable and bubbly young woman" preparing to start her job as a healthcare assistant when she started to feel unwell.
The 19-year-old went to the doctors complaining of bleeding gums and back pain; she continued to feel unwell and was told by the out of hours doctors that she had a viral infection and was sent home.
Rosie's state didn't approve and she was rushed to KGH after collapsing in November 2016.
The doctors ran tests which confirmed that she had acute myeloid leukaemia (a very rare and aggressive form of cancer) and was due to start treatment; Rosie was sedated but she didn’t recover.
Eric, 33, said: “When Rosie collapsed and was in hospital, my sister Katie phoned me to tell me the cancer diagnosis and obviously I couldn’t believe it.
"I didn’t even know she was ill or had been to the doctors.
"As far as I knew she was a healthy 19-year-old."
Eric, who was living in London at the time with his wife, spoke to the family and decided that as Rosie was going in for treatment he would travel up after the procedure once things were clearer.
"I made it to the hospital 10 minutes after she died, I didn’t have time to say goodbye.
"Rosie’s mum, my dad and sister were with her throughout, but I wish I could have been there.
"It was a huge shock for everyone and no-one saw it coming.
"After she passed away we saw on her social media that she had been feeling unwell but must have kept a lot of the pain to herself.
"We now know that her symptoms were common signs of leukaemia and blood tests should’ve been administered earlier."
Eric is now a dad to one-year-old Rémy and has moved to Northampton to be closer to his family in Irthlingborough.
He's in training for the London Marathon, which he is running in memory of Rosie and to raise money got CLIC Sargent, a cancer charity for children and young people.
"Although I am relatively sporty I have never run a marathon before but I’ve always wanted to run the London Marathon," said Eric.
"Training has been really tough and has taken up a lot of time but that’s exactly the challenge I wanted, something Rosie could be proud of.
"I am running for CLIC Sargent because we realised that Rosie and the family would likely have utilised the day-to-day support of the charity if she was alive.
"I’d love it if the kind people of Northamptonshire got behind my challenge and helped to raise vital funds."
He added: "When I’m running, I often think about Rosie and all that she went through, it can be quite therapeutic and a good release.
"At the point when I’m close to giving up, thinking of Rosie will give me that extra motivation and will help me get over the finish line."
To sponsor Eric’s London Marathon effort, go to uk.virginmoneygiving.com/EricPratt.