Praise for insurance as widower speaks on wife’s cancer battle

Praise for insurance as widower speaks on wife’s cancer battle | Insurance Business

Praise for insurance as widower speaks on wife’s cancer battle

A widower has expressed his gratitude to his wife’s life insurance as he recalled his wife’s cancer battle, NZ Herald reports. It’s a story that brokers and advisers may wish to share with their prospective clients who are on the fence about picking up the product.

Last month, Taranaki man Rob Kirkwood lost his wife Paula to bowel cancer, leaving their three young children without their mother.

Kirkwood shared that before being diagnosed, Paula had to visit the emergency department at Taranaki Base Hospital five times over three weeks due to ongoing sharp abdominal cramps – only to be sent home each time as the pain was only thought to be anxiety, constipation, a stomach ulcer, or irritable bowel syndrome.

Paula was worried about bowel cancer, but the doctors told her it was unlikely due to her age and lack of symptoms. Blood tests and X-ray also didn’t show anything unusual.

However, in November, a CT scan finally revealed a golf-sized tumour in her bowel. The doctors diagnosed her with stage four cancer, which had already spread to her liver.

“Paula’s diagnosis was a real shock for us. We’ve always lived an active and healthy lifestyle and been proactive with our health, undertaking regular screening for breast, cervical and prostate cancer but bowel cancer was not on our watch list,” Kirkwood told NZ Herald.

Read more: Radio personality resorts to crowdfunding after rejecting health insurance

Kirkwood said that the experience taught him a lot about the health system and that he was grateful for his wife’s life insurance during her cancer battle.

“Paula and I were very fortunate in that a few years earlier we’d taken out life insurance. It was a hard decision to make financially but it meant that when Paula was diagnosed, we were able to pay for unfunded cancer drugs that most people would now start a Givealittle page for,” he said.

“Although, in the end the drugs stopped working, it gave us options to try that we may not have had without insurance. A lot of people can’t afford health and life insurance and it just seems wrong that because we had insurance, we got to access cancer drugs that other people couldn’t.”