Brave young Heysham woman loses fight with cancer

A young woman battling terminal cancer has passed away at the age of 27.

Tuesday, 22nd May 2018, 10:10 am
Updated Tuesday, 22nd May 2018, 10:11 am
Sarah with her mum Kerry.
Sarah with her mum Kerry.

Sarah Melville passed away at home on Friday with her mum Kerry at her side, days after returning from a trip around Spain and Portugal on a cruise ship.

The Visitor reported last month how Sarah had been given the devastating news that she had just weeks to live after being diagnosed with a rare sarcoma – having already survived a life-threatening bout of meningitis which left her needing her legs and an arm amputated.

Sarah Melville with mum Kerry, grandma Elizabeth and brother Callum during their cruise.

And while she planned her own funeral, Sarah’s family and friends raised almost £5,000 to send her on holiday.

Although she was unable to go on her dream trip to Rome, Sarah was able to travel on a cruise ship for seven days along with Kerry, grandma Elizabeth and brother Callum, 22.

Sadly, Sarah picked up an infection during the cruise but was still able to make the most of the trip.

“Even though Sarah desperately wanted to go to Rome and weasn’t able to fly, she was so excited about the cruise and so happy to be doing it,” Kerry said.

Sarah Melville.

“That means everything to us, and we want to thank everyone who helped raise money towards the trip and Sarah’s funeral.

“There were so many kind words and thoughts that were sent to Sarah through her Go Fund me page and Sarah appreciated it all.

“We are so glad that there were so many people out there thinking of her. She’s in a better place now.

“Sarah fought to the very end; the night before, all the family were sitting with her around her bed listening to music and she was singing along.”

Sarah Melville with the ship's doctor during the cruise.

Sarah’s funeral will be held at St Mary’s Church in Morecambe at 1pm on Wednesday May 30.

Everyone who has been there for Sarah and the family is welcome to go along, and people are asked to wear something burgundy – Sarah’s favourite colour.

The church will be adorned with roses and tulips. The funeral cortege will leave Sarah’s home at 12.15pm and travel through Heysham village and then along the prom to Happy Mount Park before going on to the church.

Former Mossgate Primary School and Heysham High pupil Sarah was initially diagnosed with a rare cancer, synovial sarcoma, in her foot in December 2012.

Sarah Melville in the casino during the cruise with her brother Callum.

The tumour was so large it was comparable to a tin of beans.

Sarah has hypochondroplasia – dwarfism – and so has naturally small feet, meaning the tumour covered her foot and made it incredibly painful to walk.

Due to the stage and size of the tumour, the only option was for surgeons to amputate Sarah’s foot.

But then, a week later on Christmas Day, Sarah fell ill and was diagnosed with meningococcal septicaemia.

The family spent the day saying goodbye to Sarah after being told she was unlikely to survive.

As a result of the disease, Sarah had both her legs amputated and later her right arm, left thumb and other finger tips.

Sarah Melville with her nephew James at his christening.

During almost a year in hospital Sarah suffered everything from a stroke to multiple infections and skin grafts.

She was eventually well enough to learn to walk again using prosthetic limbs, and had been rebuilding her life back at her mum Kerry’s home in Rylstone Drive, Heysham.

She had previously worked as a supervisor in McColl’s convenience store in Oxcliffe Road,

However, just 10 weeks ago the family was given the devastating news that the sarcoma had returned, and had spread to Sarah’s lungs and right leg.