A mum-of-seven discovered she had cancer after learning she was pregnant while waiting for a sterilisation procedure.
Samantha Woodgate, 32, of Rose Gardens, Minster, was diagnosed with thyroid cancer and has gone through a five-hour operation after weeks of tests.
Samantha was in hospital in July 2014 waiting to be sterilised when she found out she was pregnant with her seventh child.
At the age of 34 weeks, her baby was diagnosed with Down’s syndrome despite previous tests showing no apparent signs and a significantly low risk.
“Sam is a very strong lady. When the doctor told her the news, she said there’s no point in me crying, that’s not going to cure it" - David Woodgate
Samantha returned home with her son, George, after five weeks at St Thomas’ Hospital in London but continued to feel unwell and suffered from hair loss.
After six weeks of cell tests, blood tests, MRI and ultrasound scans she was given the news of her illness on June 30.
Samantha has been left with a sore throat after the operation but her husband, David, 34, talked about her strength.
He said: “After the operation, she keeps losing her voice so I am caring for her and the kids.
“Sam is a very strong lady. When the doctor told her the news, she said there’s no point in me crying, that’s not going to cure it.
“The operation removed a lump and part of the neck after the illness spread to her glands.
“Sam has been on maternity leave but she is due back to work in mid-August which looks unlikely to happen.
“It’s a tough road but we have good family and friends helping us through.”
Samantha and David’s children are Ethan, 14, David, 12, twins Amelia and Madison, eight, Isabella, three, Darcy, 18 months and George, five months.
David added: “Friends and family have helped look after the children, getting them to and from school and their clubs they are involved in.
“A fundraising page has been set up by my sister online to help us get by with money and some of the anonymous donations we have received have been through people we have never met.
“It has been a really nice response. It shows people care and want to fight this horrible illness.”
On the page, Louise Clement wrote: “Unfortunately she will not be able to return to work for the foreseeable future and David will spend most of his time caring for Sam and the children, and will at times struggle financially.
“As Sam’s family and friends, we have set this page up to help as much as we can, to show Sam, David and their children how much we truly love them.”
Samantha’s recovery fund raised £900 in its first seven days.
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