When Florian Tushi suffered from several severe stomach pains, he went to his doctor.
But the father-of-two was told it was nothing more than heartburn and advised to drink Rennie.
According to him, when the pain in the stomach did not subside, the 36-year-old man sought answers and turned to the doctors again.
It was only on the third attempt that Florian, a senior recruitment consultant, was able to convince the doctor to send him for more specialist tests.
They revealed the devastating truth that Florian had terminal cancer just weeks after marrying the love of his life, Sarah, 29, mum to nine-month-old Olivia and four-month-old Isabella.
“On May 15, I got married to my wife Sara, and two weeks later, I got stage 4 stomach cancer,” he said. “They knew it had spread and said there was nothing more they could do for me.”
Florian started complaining of stomach pain in November 2021.
“I came back from my break and I started having stomach pains and indigestion, so I went to the doctor,” she said.
“I went to the doctors and they thought it was heartburn and told me how it was over the Rennie prescription.
“I took them as they said, but after six or eight weeks I had to see an emergency doctor because the pain wouldn’t go away.”
At A&E, doctors told Florian that the pain was caused by a build-up of fluid in his stomach.
This time the father-of-two was prescribed Omeprazole – another drug used to treat heartburn, otherwise known as acid reflux.
“From here the pain eased a bit and I was hoping it would go away but I ended up going back to the GP instead,” he added.
“The doctor diagnosed it as gastric fluid and decided to increase the dose of Omeprazole.
“It was completely pointless. The pain never went away.”
Determined to get to the bottom of her symptoms, Florian was able to convince her doctor to send her back to the hospital for an endoscopy – where a camera was placed down her throat.
It was found that a 36-year-old citizen has cancer.
Doctors have given him palliative care and chemotherapy, but he refuses to give up.
He added: “I don’t just accept it and put it down, I want to get rid of it and I want it to be gone.
“I’m from Albania, so I went to a doctor there and he told me about hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) surgery.”
HIPEC surgery involves the use of heated chemotherapy drugs directly into the abdomen to surgically remove the cancerous tumor and destroy any remaining cancer cells.
Florian hopes to receive £41,500 treatment at The Memorial Hospital in Istanbul, Turkey.
Strangers have already donated a staggering £20,000 – but Florian and his young family still need to raise more money for his treatment.
He said: “I have been overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity shown to me and my family by everyone.
“It’s family, friends and strangers.”
She added: “It’s a life-changing operation and I’m so thankful and grateful to have been given this chance to live.”
What are the symptoms of stomach cancer?
Stomach cancer symptoms depend on where the cancer cells grow and multiply in the stomach.
According to The Mayo Clinic, common symptoms of stomach cancer may include:
- Feeling full after a small meal
- stomach ailment
- accidental weight loss
- Bloating after eating
- difficulty swallowing
If you’re concerned that these symptoms might apply to you, it’s a good idea to get them checked out.
What causes stomach cancer?
Although there aren’t many clear answers to what causes stomach cancer, there are a few things that can make it more likely.
Factors that increase the risk of stomach cancer include:
- a tuxedo
- high salt diet
- A diet low in fruits and vegetables
- stomach polyps
- Family history of gastric cancer