A MUM has revealed that her daughter has died of ovarian cancer at the age of 27 – after doctors dismissed her symptoms as IBS.
Estelle Wignall was striving to reach her daughter Brooke's second birthday in May.
Estelle, a former administrator from Wigan, started experiencing tiredness and bloating five years ago.
Doctors at first insisted she had irritable bowel syndrom (IBS),which may cause bloating as well as stomach pains, diarrhoea, constipation and other tummy problems.
But it was later discovered she in fact had stage four ovarian cancer, the main symptom of which is bloating.
On Wednesday morning, an announcement was made by Estelle's mum on the Facebook page called "Estelle – ovarian cancer awareness".
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It said: "It's with a heavy heart to let you all know that my beautiful daughter Estelle Wignall has passed away at 2.40am.
“She is now at peace.
"Thank you all for the support you have shown her over the last 12 months.
“She fought till the end like the little warrior she was. Rest in peace beautiful."
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It came not long after Estelle had written an update on a GoFundMe page, which was set up to try and raise cash for treatment abroad.
She said: “I am now relying on a wheelchair due to severe abdominal pain when I try and walk.
“I fear if I don’t get help now I won’t make it to 28 and my daughter's second birthday.”
Estelle had a gut instinct from the beginning that her symptoms were more than just IBS.
Speaking in January, the mum-of-one said: “I picked up a leaflet in hospital about ovarian cancer and I immediately diagnosed myself.
“But everyone told me not to be so stupid because I was only 22 years old.”
The risk of ovarian cancer sharply increases from around the age of 40, and is diagnosed in almost 7,500 women every year in the UK.
It takes the lives of some 4,200 women every year, with 35 per cent of patients living for at least 10 years past diagnosis.
After Estelle picked up the leaflet on the disease, she pushed for tests and got a scan three months later.
It found a tumour the size of a watermelon on her ovary, she told Manchester Evening News.
Estelle had a tumour removed in 2017, along with her right ovary and Fallopian tube.
After making a full recovery, she put the cancer behind her, working as a receptionist and marrying her soulmate Mike, 26, in June 2019 in Texas.
The couple had their first child, Brooke, in May 2020.
Estelle said: “I had only one ovary, and so to conceive so quickly felt like a miracle.”
But Estelle began to feel unwell again. She put her exhaustion and a lack of appetite down to a new diet she was on to lose her baby weight.
In November 2020, Estelle was sent for urgent scans and was diagnosed with stage four cancer, which had spread to her liver and lungs.
Estelle said she felt “fobbed off”, claiming she was not having regular check-ups to look for the cancer returning.
She said: “I was devastated. This time, because of Brooke, I was heartbroken. She was just six months old and it felt so cruel.
“I had only just started being a mum, and I didn’t want it to be taken away.
“I feel as though I have been written off, but I am not ready to throw in the towel yet.
“I want to celebrate my little girl’s second birthday, I want to see her start school, I want to mark as many milestones as I can.”
Estelle was initially told her life expectancy was only two or three years.
Her outlook had improved after treatment, which included removing a left lung and a mastectomy.
She was determined to keep fighting, despite a scan showing the cancer had once again spread, this time to her bowel.
However, it is believed she was unable to travel abroad to start other experimental therapies not available in the UK.
On a GoFundMe page, Estelle wrote: “I often sit and wonder what kind of life my daughter will have. What career will she choose? Will she get married? Will she have children?
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“I just want the opportunity to watch her grow into the amazing woman I know she will be as any mother does.
“Unfortunately as it stands now I will not be there for those milestones. To help her pick out a dress and watch as she finds out what university she has gotten into.”
Symptoms of ovarian cancer
Over 7,000 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer in the UK each year.
This makes ovarian cancer the 5th most common cancer in women, after breast, lung, bowel and womb cancer.
More than eight out of 10 ovarian cancers occur in women over the age of 50.
A postcode lottery means a fifth of patients are found to have the disease in the advanced stages, Target Ovarian Cancer says, meaning one in five women are too sick to treat.
Ovarian cancer is one of the most common and also most deadly cancers found in women.
Around 90 per cent of women survive their cancer if it’s caught at the earliest stage, but that figure drops dramatically with delay.
At stage 2, only 40 out of 100 will survive, and that drops to just 5 per cent by the most severe stage.
The warning signs
- Pain in your belly or pelvic area
- Feeling full quickly when eating
- Needing to pee more often
- Back pain
- Change in poo habits
- Unexplained weight loss
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