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Father, 34, whose cancer was untreatable, chose to die at home surrounded by his wife and children

The widow of a 34-year-old police officer who died of cancer revealed how he chose to be cared for at home in his last months so that he could spend more time with his young children.

Chris Mutter, 34, of Dunfermline, Fife, was initially told he was suffering from acid reflux when he sought medical advice last summer for symptoms he developed when he sat down to eat.

However, he and his wife Maxine, 29, were devastated in October when they discovered he actually had esophageal cancer.

When told that the cancer was untreatable, Maxine revealed how the father of two refused to spend his last months in a hospice and instead chose to stay at home with their children Ethan, three, and Eden, one.

Police officer Chris Mutter, who died of cancer at the age of 34, chose to be cared for at home in his last months so that he could spend more time with his children

Chris with his wife Maxine, 29

Chris with his wife Maxine, 29

Maxine Mutter, 29, has revealed how the late her husband Chris Mutter, who died of cancer at the age of 34, chose to be cared for at home in his last months so he could spend more time with his children (photo left, Chris and right), The couple, who come from Dunfermline)

Maxine met her 18-year-old husband while on duty outside a nightclub and she was out with her friends. They were together for 11 years.

She remembered imagining her husband when she was a schoolgirl and always seeing him in town, but the first time they met well was when she was out on a night out.

The mother of two saw him in his fluorescent jacket and talked to him.

She said, “It was just before my 19th birthday, I saw him and I said to my friend,” I’m going to talk to Prince Harry. “

When he discovered that the cancer was untreatable, the father of two refused to spend his last months in a hospice. Instead, he chose to stay at home with Maxine and their children Eden, one year old, and Ethan, three years old

When he discovered that the cancer was untreatable, the father of two refused to spend his last months in a hospice. Instead, he chose to stay at home with Maxine and their children Eden, one year old, and Ethan, three years old

When he discovered that the cancer was untreatable, the father of two refused to spend his last months in a hospice. Instead, he chose to stay at home with Maxine and their children Eden, one year old, and Ethan, three years old

My friend said, “Don’t do that.” Apparently I stroked his yellow jacket and told him how beautiful it was.

What is esophageal cancer?

Esophageal cancer is a disease caused by tumors growing in the food pipe between the mouth and stomach.

The cancer is most common in people between the ages of 60 and 70 and affects more men than women.

Esophageal cancer can be difficult to recognize because it does not cause symptoms in the earlier stages and is not noticed until the tumor has grown.

Symptoms may include difficulty swallowing, persistent indigestion or heartburn, loss of appetite, weight loss, and pain in the trunk, chest, or back.

Survival rates aren’t high for esophageal cancer, with only 12 percent of people surviving 10 years after a diagnosis.

According to Cancer Research UK, six out of ten patients die within a year of diagnosis.

The exact cause of the disease is not well known, but smoking, drinking too much alcohol, being overweight, or an unhealthy diet would increase the risk of getting someone.

Sources: NHS and Cancer Research UK

“I always saw him at the mall when I was younger and thought he was so cute, but you don’t expect to get out of Sticks in Glenrothes and get married and have two kids.

“I’m so grateful to have had that opportunity, he was such a great guy.”

The couple had been married for six years, and Maxine, who works as an assistant at Victoria Hospital in Fife, described Chris as her soulmate.

But last summer, Chris decided to go to the doctor after noticing that he was in some pain during meals and dinner.

He was diagnosed with acid reflux, popularly known as heartburn, a chest burning sensation caused when stomach acid travels to the throat.

Despite Chris’s diagnosis, Maxine said he would continue working and was promoted to an inspector last September.

But the family was later told in October that Chris actually had stage 3 cancer, meaning it had spread beyond his esophagus.

The disease, caused by tumors growing in the esophagus – the food pipe between the mouth and stomach – is most common in people between the ages of 60 and 70.

Symptoms may include difficulty swallowing, persistent indigestion or heartburn, loss of appetite, weight loss, and pain in the trunk, chest, or back.

Maxine said, “He was fit and healthy, so it was just an absolute shock when we got that diagnosis.”

However, doctors were optimistic that he would be helped by chemotherapy.

But on March 11, when surgery was performed, the cancer was found to be untreatable, and the only option was palliative care – at home or in a hospice.

The young mother took on the gigantic task of looking after him in his last months.

Meanwhile, the couple decided to be honest with their children about the situation, after much grief, and Maxine’s sister, Megan Brown, 27, and her partner, Ali Harvey, 31, moved into the family home for the last month of Chris’ life .

Maxine took care of Chris's care from her home so that he could continue to spend time with their children during the coronavirus lock (pictured, with their son Ethan)

Maxine took care of Chris's care from her home so that he could continue to spend time with their children during the coronavirus lock (pictured, with their son Ethan)

Maxine took care of Chris’s care from her home so that he could continue to spend time with their children during the coronavirus lock (pictured, with their son Ethan)

Maxine explained, “Chris wanted to stay at home, mainly because of the complications from COVID, so I helped take care of him and my sister and her boyfriend for the past four weeks.”

“Even when things got really tough, Chris said,” I’d go to a hospice if you wanted to, “but I said no, it would have broken my heart to see him in a hospice.

“At the time of the operation, we knew there would be a lockdown and I wanted to bring it home earlier.”

She explained that the family was trying to go “as normal as possible” and said, “We wanted to keep it normal, so we always ate in the bedroom, we always talked, even when Chris was sleeping, while the kids were running in and out.

The family was told in October that Chris had stage 3 cancer, meaning it had spread beyond his esophagus, but tried to maintain a normal family atmosphere at home for their children

The family was told in October that Chris had stage 3 cancer, meaning it had spread beyond his esophagus, but tried to maintain a normal family atmosphere at home for their children

The family was told in October that Chris had stage 3 cancer, meaning it had spread beyond his esophagus, but tried to maintain a normal family atmosphere at home for their children

They worked on the fence by painting the garden gate and taking walks until those things became impossible because Chris’s health deteriorated rapidly.

She explained, “When McDonald’s opened, Chris said,” I’d like a Happy Meal with chicken nuggets, “and we gave him that even though he only ate one chicken nugget.”

Maxine continued: “He was very scared, he was very vulnerable to such a strong man.

“It was terrible, he was always behind me and supporting me, he was such a nice man.”

Maxine remembered imagining her husband when she was a schoolgirl and always saw him in town, but the first time they met well was when she was out on a night out

Maxine remembered imagining her husband when she was a schoolgirl and always saw him in town, but the first time they met well was when she was out on a night out

Maxine remembered imagining her husband when she was a schoolgirl and always saw him in town, but the first time they met well was when she was out on a night out

Meanwhile, she added, “Ethan is only three but is very excited, so we did our best not to break for the kids.

“He was such a good officer, husband, father and everything that was stolen.

“He was an absolutely brilliant dad and would drive me crazy if he left work and excited them all when I just arranged them.”

Maxine explained, “He was always thoughtful and adored me so much that it was quite embarrassing at times.

“He really was my soul mate and I will make sure that Ethan and Eden will never forget him.”

The family is raising money through Just Giving for Cancer Charity The Maggie’s Center and St George’s Police Children’s Trust, to donate click here.

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