A grieving mother has revealed that her daughter died of diffuse stomach cancer that had spread to her lungs, but she has not been seen in recent days because doctors initially passed her fatal diagnosis as ‘suspected COVID-19’.
In a heartbreaking essay for the HuffPost, Mary Hagen Roberts, 64, talked about how her daughter Laura Hagen Hoffman, 33, died at home, in the arms of her fiancé Brett, on April 23 at 1:11 pm, just minutes before she arrived to see her.
Earlier this month, Laura was hospitalized alone, without a visit, after her shortness of breath and cough were believed to be coronavirus symptoms. It wasn’t until weeks later that she got a bronchoscopy that she learned she was terminally ill.
Loss: Mary Hagen Roberts revealed that her daughter Laura Hagen Hoffman died of cancer after hearing it spread to her lungs. Her symptoms were initially believed to be COVID-19
Misdiagnosis: In early April, Laura was hospitalized after her sudden shortness of breath, fever, and cough were considered symptoms of coronavirus
“Yes, she died of cancer. But because of the sudden onset of shortness of breath, fever, and cough – symptoms that developed in early April – she was classified as “suspected COVID-19,” “wrote Mary.
She said her daughter started having stomach pain in the fall of 2017 and her doctor had prescribed antacids. Despite her discomfort, Laura traveled to Andalusia, Spain, where Brett proposed.
Shortly after their engagement, she was diagnosed with cancer in January 2018 after routine surgery.
Laura continued to work as a teacher and traveled while undergoing chemotherapy treatments, and later a clinical trial of immunotherapy.
When she started showing symptoms believed to be COVID-19, she was hospitalized and was not allowed to have visitors due to fear of the virus spreading.
Heartbreaking news: Laura was diagnosed with diffuse stomach cancer in January 2018
Cancer Fight: Laura continued to work as a teacher and traveled while undergoing chemotherapy treatments and later an immunotherapy clinical study
“A few days after her last hospitalization, she called me frustrated and sobbing because no one in the hospital was allowed to support her – neither me nor her steadfast fiancé, Brett,” Mary recalled, noting that even her doctors wouldn’t visit her. for fear of contracting coronavirus.
Laura received supplemental oxygen when she was released from the hospital on Easter Sunday, April 12. She continued to give her high school chemistry and biology classes at a distance, but her need for supplemental oxygen only increased.
About a week after her discharge from hospital, she passed out while walking her dog. Mary said she wanted to visit her, but she was immunocompromised by Addison’s disease and Laura was afraid to infect her with coronavirus.
Laura received a scheduled bronchoscopy on April 20, and two days later she called her mother crying. The test results showed that she had never had COVID-19 – her symptoms were due to the spread of cancer in her lungs.
Laura was told that she would have only a month to live if she did not undergo aggressive treatment. Mary said she was packing to be with her daughter the next day, but Laura died before she got there.
Heartbreaking: Laura underwent a bronchoscopy a few weeks after she was released from the hospital and found that her cancer had spread to her lungs. She died the next day
Mourning: Mary said her daughter died at home, in the arms of her fiancé Brett, on April 23 at 1:11 pm, just minutes before she arrived to see her
“I was told she was clear and talked and sipped a smoothie just before she died,” she said. “At one point, just after 1:00 PM, Laura got up, walked a few steps, collapsed, and was gone.
“And I wasn’t with her.
“And I have no idea how to proceed now that she’s gone or what to do with my incredible and unbearable grief.”
Mary explained that because of the pandemic, she is unable to grieve well. She cannot have a funeral for her daughter or hugging her relatives. She cannot even accept stews from her supportive neighbors.
“For the time being – instead of a service, rather than a funeral, our little family mourned our unbearable loss and told stories of Laura’s wild children and her brilliant, short life,” she wrote at the end of her essay.
“We cried, and we talked and cursed this virus and its spread. But now I wake up every morning and go to bed every night with this hole in my heart, and I don’t know how I’ll go on. ‘