Former dinner lady Vivienne Holland’s health quickly began deteriorating prior to her cancer diagnosis and at first she thought she was just feeling the affects of her Covid jab
Image: MEN Media)
A fit and healthy mum-of-two put aches and pains down to her Covid vaccine but nine weeks later she’d died from aggressive cancer.
Former dinner lady Vivienne Holland’s last words to her son before discovering she had stomach and liver cancer were: “I don’t know what’s wrong with me, this isn’t like me at all.”
The 72-year-old, known to friends and family as Viv, began feeling breathless and tired and struggled walking beyond short distances despite usually being full of energy.
Her appetite was also deteriorating, with her complaints striking her loved ones as unusual, reports the Manchester Evening Post.
Vivienne, from Atherton, Greater Manchester, had her Covid jab in February which led to some tiredness but by May she decided to seek help as her condition worsened.
Three weeks later she discovered what was wrong.
Vivienne’s son Ian said: “Mum was a healthy, energetic woman, who looked years younger than her actual age.
“Even the nurses had to double check they had her notes correct about her age.
“On May 20, my mum and I were out for our usual weekly lunch at the Buttyfull Cafe in Atherton.
“It was clear mum wasn’t well, this was very unusual.”
Ian, who has a twin brother David, said the family put it down to the vaccination but on June 10 she was finally diagnosed.
Following a procedure at the Royal Bolton Hospital, doctors found that the cancer was “very aggressive” and had spread, said Ian.
The mum, who loved nothing more than taking her dog for a walk every day, went into hospital for an overnight stay but “never came home”, added her son.
By July 22, Vivienne had been told her condition was terminal and was on end of life care.
Ian said his mum was always thinking of others over herself.
He added: “At mum’s hospital bed, she would say ‘I hope my friends are not too upset’.
“As I held her hand… she worried I was sat in a draught and would be cold.
“I said ‘mum, stop worrying about others and let’s worry about you’.
“Mum said: ‘I know, I’m stupid’.
“Mum wasn’t stupid, she was just a very caring person.”
By August 6, Vivienne had moved to Hindley Hospice, where Ian continued to visit every day – sometimes staying all day and night.
Two days later, Vivienne died.
He continued: “‘I love you’ – those were my mum’s last words.”
“Everyone is in total shock at how quickly mum deteriorated. A short nine weeks,” explained Ian.
“But we are so proud of her strength and her dignity right to the end.
“She was a very caring, strong, energetic lady.”