Updated 10 May 2019

Woman left heartbroken after partner’s ‘stomach bug’ turns out to be terminal cancer

A young dad from the UK, who was given months to live after his “stomach bug” turned out to be terminal cancer, has sought holistic treatment in Mexico.

A young dad from the UK, who was given months to live after his “stomach bug” turned out to be terminal cancer, has sought holistic treatment in Mexico amounting to £36 000 (about R665 000).

Gary Pritchard (32) from Liverpool started feeling ill in October last year but his family thought he just had a bug.

But within a month Gary received terrible news – he actually has stage four terminal stomach cancer.

Doctors advised Gary and his partner, Sophie Barr (30), to tell their two children, Betty (7) and Honey (3), about his diagnosis.

“I’m absolutely heartbroken – I’ve never experienced anything like it in my life. Watching him be sick and in so much pain is torture,” Sophie said.

“He’s lost so much weight and he’s so weak. It’s not nice for the girls to have to see. They’re both massive daddy’s girls. He adores them both and he did so much with them but now he can’t.

“I haven’t been able to tell the girls either. I haven’t got it in me,” she added.

Gary Pritchard and his family. (Photo: CATERS/WWW.

Sophie, who owned her own children’s clothing shop before closing it down to take care of her partner full time, said it took more than a month to find out what was wrong with him after he suddenly fell ill.

As Gary’s health rapidly deteriorated over the weeks, he went back to the hospital – this time for a gastroscopy expecting doctors to find nothing more sinister than gastric ulcers, but when medics returned with his diagnosis the family were given a devastating blow.

“They told us it was stage four cancer and that they were only going to be able to offer palliative care because it was incurable,” Sophie said.

Gary Pritchard and his family. (Photo: CATERS/WWW.

After the devastating diagnosis, the mom of two was determined not to have to say goodbye to the love of her life so instead set about scouring the internet for a solution.

The couple discovered the Mexican Hope4Cancer clinic which offers patients personalised programmes to fight their cancer using various “integrated therapies” including full-body hypothermia and vitamin C intravenous (IV) therapy.

Sophie claims the holistic therapies have been able to reverse cancer in patients even more severe than Gary.

 “We’ve researched, since the day he was diagnosed, all kinds of treatment and eventually we found this treatment in Mexico,” she said.

Gary Pritchard and his family. (Photo: CATERS/WWW.

“There are examples of people who’ve been at Gary’s stage, even closer to the end than Gary is, and they’ve come back and made a full recovery.

“We are refusing to give up hope. We just want to get him out there and give him another chance.”

Source: Magazine Features

Image credit: Caters/


Ask the Expert

Cancer expert

CANSA’s purpose is to lead the fight against cancer in South Africa. Its mission is to be the preferred non-profit organisation that enables research, educates the public and provides support to all people affected by cancer. Questions are answered by CANSA’s Head of Health Professor Michael Herbst. For more information, visit

Still have a question?

Get free advice from our panel of experts

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

* You must accept our condition

Forum Rules