‘Heartbroken’ father-of-four dies after cancer treatment delayed due to coronavirus pandemic

Andy Wells
Freelance Writer
Pete Sharp died after his cancer surgery was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. (PA)

A father-of-four who died when his cancer treatment was delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic was left “heartbroken” that he could not spend more time with his family.

Pete Sharp, 60, of Kettering, did not have the virus himself but died on 27 April following a lung cancer diagnosis in January.

He was unable to have surgery on the cancer as the intensive care bed he would need for recovery was being used to treat COVID-19 patients.

The case comes after research suggested nearly 18,000 more people could die from cancer over the next year in England because of the impact of COVID-19.

Mr Sharp’s youngest daughter said her father was heartbroken after the chance for more time with his family was "snapped away from him" due to the outbreak.

Tayler Sharp, 23, said that her father was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer which had spread to his lymph nodes.

Pete Sharp, left, was unable to have surgery on the cancer as the intensive care bed he would need for recovery was being used to treat COVID-19 patients. (PA)

She said: "It was just kind of downhill from there, he said he felt like a ping pong ball because he was going from appointment to appointment.

"Even though he had the hardest news he could have possibly had, he never showed that he was scared.”

Miss Sharp said the surgery scheduled for 30 March may have given her father more time with his family.

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However, the week before he was due to have the surgery Mr Sharp was told it was not safe for him to have it due to the pandemic.

Miss Sharp said: "Obviously it really annoyed him but I explained that they weren't doing it to be horrible, they were doing it because they wanted him to come out the other side of the operation.

"It was hard for him, he hid it very well but I knew he was heartbroken.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to raise funds for Pete Sharp's funeral. (GoFundMe)

"It was me who had to call the nurses and ask what was going on because he couldn't do it – it literally broke his heart not being able to have it.

"He had been given a 98% chance of pulling through the operation and living for however long, and it was just snapped away from him just like that because of coronavirus. It was awful.”

He was later referred to have chemotherapy before the decision was made to give Mr Sharp palliative radiotherapy to help him cope with the symptoms.

The roofer, described as a "Jack of all trades" by his family, celebrated his 60th birthday on 25 February 26 with Miss Sharp, his two other daughters Elisha, 31, and Hayleigh, 40, as well as his son PJ, 27.

Miss Sharp described her father as a "character", and said: "He was always there to help people and was always ready to put people before himself.

"We said he was the entertainer because he'd always want to be the person who made someone laugh or made them smile.

"He was a bit of a joker, he loved to play pranks and things and he lived life to the fullest, not a care in the world unless it was for his kids.”

A GoFundMe page set up to raise money for Mr Sharp’s funeral has so far received over £2,000 in donations.

Yahoo News UK has reached out to Miss Sharp for further comment.

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