I was told to take Rennies for heartburn – now I'm facing a death sentence at 36 | The Sun

WHEN Florian Tushi suffered repeated bouts of nasty stomach pain, he went to see his GP.

But the dad-of-two was told it was nothing more than a case of heartburn, and was advised to take Rennies.

When the stomach pain – which he said felt a bit like indigestion – failed to subside, the 36-year-old went back to the doctors, desperate for an answer.

It was only on his third attempt that Florian, a senior recruitment consultant, managed to convince a doctor to refer him for more specialist tests.

They revealed a devastating truth, Florian was diagnosed with incurable cancer – weeks after marrying the love of his life, Sarah, 29, mum to their daughters Olivia, nine months and Isabella, four.

"On May 15, I got married to my wife Sarah and two weeks later I was diagnosed with stage 4 stomach cancer," he said. "They found out it had spread and said there was nothing more they could dofor me."

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Florian began to complain of stomach pains in November 2021.

"I came back from a break when I started to get a pain in my stomach that felt a bit like indigestion so I contacted the GP," he said.

"I went to the doctors and they thought it was heartburn so basically gave me what was like over the counter Rennies.

"I took them exactly how they said but six to eight weeks after I had to see an emergency doctor because the pain wouldn't go."

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At A&E, doctors told Florian the pain was likely caused by a build up of liquid in his stomach.

This time the dad-of-two was prescribed Omeprazole – another drug used to treat heartburn, otherwise known as acid reflux.

"From here the pain went down a bit and I kept hoping it would go but I ended up back at the GP again instead," he added.

"The GP diagnosed this asstomach liquid and decided it would be best to up the amount of Omeprazole so they tried that.

"It was absolutely pointless. The pain wasn't going away whatsoever."

Determined to get to the bottom of his symptoms, Florian managed to convince his doctor to refer him back to the hospital for an endoscopy – where a camera is put down the throat.

It revealed that the 36-year-old had cancer.

Doctors gave him one option, palliative care and chemotherapy, but he is refusing to give up.

He added: "I wasn't just accepting it and settling for that, I want to get rid of it and I want it gone.

"I'm originally from Albania so I went to visit a doctor over there who told me about hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) surgery."

HIPEC surgery involves surgically removing cancerous tumours and the application of heated chemotherapy drugs directly to the abdomen to eliminate the remaining cancerous cells.

Florian hopes to have the treatment, which costs £41,500 at The Memorial Hospital in Istanbul, Turkey.

So far, the consultant strangers have donated a staggering £20,000 – but Florian and his young family still need to raise a lot more for his treatment.

He said: "I am just completely overwhelmed with the kindness and generosity shown to me and my family from everyone.

"That being family, friends and strangers."

He added: "This is life changing surgery and I am so, so thankful and grateful to be given this chance of life."

What are the symptoms of stomach cancer?

Stomach cancer symptoms can depend on where cancerous cells have grown and replicated in the stomach.

According to The Mayo Clinic, common symptoms of stomach cancer may include:

  • Heartburn
  • Feeling full after small portions of food
  • Stomach pain
  • Nausea
  • Indigestion
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Feeling bloated after eating
  • Trouble swallowing

If you're worried that any of these symptoms may apply to you, it's probably a good idea to get them checked out.

What causes stomach cancer?

While there are not many straightforward answers for what causes stomach cancer, a few things are known to make it more likely.

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Factors that increase the likelihood of stomach cancer include:

  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • A high-salt diet
  • A diet low in fruits and vegetables
  • Stomach polyps
  • A family history of stomach cancer

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