'One in a million' husband dies months after finding pea-sized lump near his heart

By Benjamin Roberts-haslam & Matt Strudwick

A "one in a million" retired civil servant died months after discovering a pea-sized lump that grew to the size of a fist in just seven days.

Mick Maguire started feeling unwell but was told by medics "there was nothing wrong".

It was only after the third time that he visited the hospital that he was told they had discovered a lump.

He and his wife, Fiona, returned a week later when the lump had ballooned to the size of a fist and he was given the devastating diagnosis of stage four lung cancer and told he just had three months to live, reports the Liverpool Echo.

His wife of nine years, Fiona, said: "My husband started to get ill so I got him into hospital who said there was nothing wrong. It happened again the following couple of days and, after the third time in the hospital, they said it was a very, very small lump.

"Then, by the time we got to the Royal Liverpool University Hospital for his scan, then Broadgreen Hospital for the results, it had gone from a tiny lump no bigger than the size of a petit pois pea to the size of a fist in the space of seven days."

Fiona described her husband as 'one in a million' (Mcmillan Cancer Support)

Doctors were unable to operate on the 57-year-old as the lump was "too close to his heart, too close to his lungs and it was growing too fast".

He was given palliative chemotherapy "which made him very ill" and the last month he was alive he was "in and out of hospice and hospital".

"We then sat down to discuss how we were going to raise money for Macmillan and Queenscourt hospice who were looking after him," said Fiona, "I stupidly said that I'll have my head shaved."

Mick visited hospital three times before getting a diagnosis (Liverpool Echo)

The medically retired civil servant was diagnosed at the end of April. He died on August 14.

Mick was cremated on August 31 and on that day Fiona shaved her head to raise money for Macmillan and Queenscourt Hospice at the after-party.

Fiona said: "I literally just got the three months with him before he passed away but in the meantime, we had made plans, organised things, sorted out what his funeral would be like.

"I agreed to do his eulogy and have my head shaved, not at his wake, he wasn't having a wake, it was at his after-party."

Mick was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome in his 30s and was medically retired from then, with Fiona saying he "touched a lot of people's lives".

"He was one in a million," she said. "He didn't think he touched people's lives but he touched a lot of people's lives.

"We have a few friends who have children that have got Asperger's and of course they got on well with him because he knew how to behave with them, he knew what the problems were that set them off.

"He was just fabulous. He learnt to live a normal life with a wife which he thought he'd never do. He pushed himself. That's what I loved about him so much.

"He was amazing. He is going to be sorely missed. I have plans that we agreed on that I'm going to carry on and do."


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