Bad health strikes again

AFTER years spent recovering from a number of strokes and heart attacks, Beverley Freeman should today have been relaxing on her first holiday abroad.

AFTER years spent recovering from a number of strokes and heart attacks, Beverley Freeman should today have been relaxing on her first holiday abroad.

But she is instead at her Ipswich home, still reeling from the shock of being diagnosed with breast cancer.

Mrs Freeman, 51, of Wallers Grove, had been planning her family trip to Tenerife, which had been booked through First Choice Travel Shop in December.

She should have been in on holiday now - together with her sister, brother-in-law and two of her brother-in-law's relations.

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It was to be a well-earned break after years of heartache.

She suffered a minor stroke and a heart attack in 1998 and then in 2001 suffered two minor strokes, a much more serious stroke and a heart attack.

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The last stroke left her having to relearn many basic skills.

Mrs Freeman said: "I can now talk, I am training my brain to remember things, I can walk and I can read. I can't write very well, but I can do it on the computer."

But the diagnosis of breast cancer - made after a routine mammogram in March - has meant that Mrs Freeman, her husband Michael and their 14-year-old son Marcus have had to stay at home.

And as Mrs Freeman had not yet bought travel insurance, the family have also lost their deposit, which was around £300.

Mrs Freeman said: "We were meant to have gone to Tenerife last Saturday for two weeks. But I went for a routine mammogram and they discovered breast cancer.

"I have a tumour in my right breast and I am having radiotherapy every day for six weeks.

"I tried to cancel my holiday, but First Choice said as I hadn't taken out travel insurance, I couldn't have my money back.

"I had been looking forward to a nice break and am very disappointed. I have never been abroad apart from when I lived in America in my 20s and my husband and son have never been abroad or been on a plane.

Mrs Freeman's daughter, Sarah White, 35, of Murray Road, Ipswich, added: "My mother really needed this holiday as she has had a rough time over the past few years.

"It was bad enough for her to find out she had breast cancer, let alone the treatment she is having to go through. She really needed this holiday."

A spokeswoman for First Choice said the company was "sorry to hear of Mrs Freeman's illness."

She added: "We do advise all customers to take insurance at the time of booking as once the booking is confirmed with a third party tour operator, this is a legally binding contract as stated in the terms and conditions at the time of booking.

"By having travel insurance customers having to cancel due to illness would be covered."

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