Hayley Newbery, the 26-year-old mother-of-three who ignited a national newspaper campaign in order to procure an unapproved drug to treat bowel cancer, has died at the St James's Hospital in Leeds. Mrs Newbery could not tolerate surgery to remove liver and bowel tumors.
Doctors told Mrs Newbery last year that she had only two months to live unless she took Avastin to reduce the size of the tumors. A hospital spokesman said she had died after a 10 and half hour operation. "I am able to confirm she has sadly died. Of course our thoughts are with her family at this time," he said, adding that the family had asked not to reveal any details. The hospital also said that the first part of the surgery on the bowel went well, but complications arose after the liver surgery.
Avastin is available for £50,000 in private, but Mrs Newbery was given the drug after the Daily Mirror newspaper launched a campaign to procure the drug from NHS. Just before she went in for surgery Mrs Newbery was shown on television when she said that she knew the risks of the operation, but wanted to go through it for the sake of her children. Her husband Christian and father Roger were at her bedside throughout.