Cancer couple hail hospital

When Kevin Willis was diagnosed with stomach cancer, just two days after his wife Alice was given the all clear from the same cancer, the Norwich couple must have thought they were one of the unluckiest families in the city.

But less than a year later, the Willises are counting their lucky stars and are full of praise for the medical team who got both of them through their illnesses.

After five years of battling stomach cancer, Mrs Willis was overjoyed to be given the all-clear last August.

But her happiness was cut short when, just two days later, her husband was diagnosed with the same cancer.

Mr Willis said his experience of his wife's superb treatment meant he had every confidence in the medical team at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and he knew just just to expect.

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The 62-year-old, from Jex Avenue in West Norwich, said: 'It was a shock when I was disagnosed and a right kick in the teeth for everybody.

'But it was easier for me to be positive because I saw how they treated Alice and how wonderful all the staff were.

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'I get very emotional when I think what could have been.

'We were unlucky to both get it but we have come out of it the right side and in that respect we are lucky.'

Mr Willis strongly believes his positive outlook, coupled with the fact the cancer was picked up early, is why less than a year later he has been told he will not need to return to hospital for six months.

He had an operation to remove his stomach in December, and has also had chemotherapy.

Mrs Willis, 62, also had to have her stomach removed, and has been helping her husband come to terms with the procedure.

She said: 'Everyone has been so good to us, especially all the people at the Big C Centre. We have made some very good friends and what we'd really like to do now is help other people with cancer by talking to them and giving them advice.'

The couple are now looking forward to being able to devote more of their time to their 12 grandchildren.

Mr Willis said: 'We'd like to enjoy our lives and enjoy our grandchildren.

'We're just fortunate now we have both got the opportunity to see our grandchildren grow up, and that's all down to the doctors and the staff who got us through it all.'

Do you have a health story for the Evening News? Contact health correspondent Kim Briscoe on 01603 772419 or email

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