Covid: ‘I lost my daughter to cancer after the pandemic paused chemotherapy’

The mother of a 31-year-old woman who died from cancer after her chemotherapy was paused due to pandemic Covid measures has spoken publicly for the first time, saying she’s “broken” by her daughter’s death.

Kelly Smith from Macclesfield died from bowel cancer in June 2020.

Her mum, Mandy Russell, and dad started a petition calling for an end to cancer treatment delays, which had more than 370,000 signatures when they handed it to the government this summer.

Research by the Institute for Public Policy Research has now estimated it could take more than a decade to clear the cancer-treatment backlog in England.

NHS England said: “While the pandemic inevitably had a knock-on effect on other services, the NHS continued to prioritise cancer care throughout the pandemic and referral and treatment numbers are now back to usual levels.”

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