This article is from Alison's weekly column for the Wirral News. This post is from 2nd April and can be read on the Wirral News website here.
You have probably heard about the desperately sad case of Sophie Jones who lost her life to cervical cancer.
Sophie’s case has attracted much attention not only because she was such a young victim of the disease, but also following her death, friends began an e-petition with the aim of generating a debate to ensure that no other young woman should have to go through what Sophie, her family and friends have. The petition has now received over 300,000 signatures, the most any e-petition has raised. It has gone a long way in raising awareness of what happened to Sophie, and this can only be a positive thing, and a comfort to her family and friends.
Steps must now be taken to make sure that such cases like this are prevented. It is important to find what went wrong, so that the right policies are in place within the NHS to make sure this doesn’t happen to somebody else, and I have asked the Prime Minister during Prime Minister’s questions recently, to work with me to ensure this is the case. Lowering the age of examination could cause distress, and problems, but the availability of a screen under the age of 25 if someone is symptomatic may prevent a case like this happening again.
I would like to thank people for signing the Sophie’s Choice petition and helping to raise awareness of what Sophie went through. Sophie knew something was wrong and, whilst we will wait for the outcomes of investigations ongoing, I believe it would have been the right thing to for her concerns to be listened to, and for young women to be taken seriously if they feel something is wrong.
I hope Sophie’s friends and family will feel some small comfort from the level of public support they have received, and I certainly do not want what happened to Sophie to be in vain.