A caring mum-of-two who died from cancer was able to be with her boys one last time in her final moments.
Rebecca Broughton, 27, from Ayr lost her battle with incurable triple negative breast cancer this month – leaving friends and family devastated.
She was surrounded by her young family, including husband of four years Barry Broughton, 30, and her two kids – three-year-old Joseph and one-year-old tot Rory – at Ayr Hospital on June 1 as she fought bravely to the very end.
Rebecca had been given the heartbreaking news that she had months to live at the start of this year after doctors had discovered that her cancer had spread to her brain whilst she was had tumours in her lungs.
The doting mum was determined to fulfil a ‘bucket list’ she’d created and had ‘accepted’ she was never going to beat her illness.
Rebecca told how she wanted to have a big party if coronavirus restrictions allowed. However, over the last two months, her health took a turn for the worse and she began to suffer seizures.
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Heartbroken husband Barry has told how the time he got to spend with his wife and their two children was ‘magical’.
He told Ayrshire Live : “We knew the day was coming, we just didn’t think it was going to be so quick.
“The family all came up. We were all by her bedside. Her boys were there with her until the end. We were all there.
“When she did take her final breath she was with me and her mum. My parents were at the hospital too, they meant a lot to Rebecca and Rebecca meant even more to them.”
Rebecca was able to get out of the hospital for Barry’s 30th birthday on April 16 where the family had a Harry Potter night but a few days later she was rushed back in after suffering more seizures.
Barry said: “She managed to get well enough to get home.
“She worked really hard and got back on her feet. She was determined to even just get up and have showers, she was strong and she was fit.”
Rebecca was suffering seizures due to 35 lesions on her brain which medics were trying to stop putting pressure on her skull.
While dealing with severe headaches and seizures, Rebecca was unable to receive chemotherapy treatment for the tumours in her lungs which became untreatable.
Barry continued: “She got home, we were home for almost three weeks, we got the chance to do things that we weren’t going to do again.
“It was all surreal. You were thinking something doesn’t seem right. I knew something wasn’t right.
“I got an ambulance up as her oxygen levels were low.
“They thought it was a blood clot and that was why she was getting breathless.
“That day I said to her, ‘if you go in here, I just know you are not coming home’. I think she knew that herself.”
Barry was left in awe at his wife’s spirit and determination throughout her battle after she was diagnosed with breast cancer whilst pregnant with their second child Rory in 2019.
Receiving treatment throughout her pregnancy was a “terrifying prospect” but Rebecca remained positive throughout.
Barry said: “When Rebecca found out what was going on, she had a plan, she would do loads of research, she would challenge the oncologist team in every appointment.
“She did everything that she could to have the best possible outcome out of the worst situation.
“She joined social groups and charities to find out any questions she could answer.
“She was determined, she was just like a bullet, she was going to go through any surface to get to the target.
“When we first found it had spread she was a bit disappointed, we were a bit in denial.
“But then she researched more and just had an attitude of, ‘that’s fine we’ll deal with it’.
“She would make sure I wouldn’t panic, she supported me and she kept all the nasty stuff away until it was time to do so.
“Even up until the day she passed she was asking if I had eaten. She just worried about everyone else no matter what.”
Barry, who said he spent “the best days of his life” with Rebecca who he met when he was a teenager, wants his wife’s death to be a warning that cancer does not discriminate.
After losing the mother to his children, Barry is desperate for anyone who is concerned about anything with their body to get checked.
He hopes that his wife’s legacy will be the saving of others.
Barry said: “Rebecca would always say there is no such thing as a stupid question only stupid answers.
“If anyone notices anything unusual please get checked.
“My wife battled for long, she kept her spirits up no matter what but in the end cancer didn’t care.
“The long and short of it is it doesn’t matter if you’re the nicest person in the world, cancer can strike anyone.
“Rebecca’s purpose was to help make people aware. It doesn’t matter if you’re young and fit, we won’t stop making people aware of that.
“Rebecca had her whole life ahead of her and it has been taken away, it is just so cruel.”
Rebecca was laid to rest at Dunlop Cemetery – a spot close to her heart – on Wednesday, June 9.
Mourners wore bright colours in her memory and former colleagues at Ayr Hospital turned streets outside her home into a sea of blue to pay their respects.
An emotional Barry paid tribute to his wife through a eulogy in which he described Rebecca as the “kindest, most caring, loving and compassionate person” who meant “everything”.
He added: “We spent some of the best days you could have in your life. It was magical.
“She taught me so much it was unbelievable, she taught me things like cooking, she taught me how to be the best version of myself.
“Living with that one person all those years to be able to come back to our family meant the world to me. She will be missed every day.”
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