Tue. Jul 23rd, 2024

A terminally ill man has urged people to prioritise their health after he made the ‘biggest mistake’ of his life.

Liam Griffiths is currently trying to tick things off his bucket list as fast as he can – while living with the thought that his life could have been saved if he hadn’t made one fatal error.The 31-year-old says he is now ‘a shadow’ of his former self after receiving the devastating news that his condition was terminal, despite him being ‘the healthiest man in the world’ and a dedicated gym goer.

He said: “Physically I’m a fragile man, I’m a shadow of who I was. I was the healthiest man in the world. I trained every single day, but now I can’t even walk up the stairs without breaking a sweat.“I am literally living the worst type of life I could have ever imagined. It’s horrible. Mentally, it’s taken it out of me. Physically, it’s taken it out of me.”

Liam explained that he began to suffer with stomach swelling, chronic constipation, cramps and vomiting back in March.

But despite his multiple ailments, he didn’t want to make a fuss and would lose out on wages due to being self-employed, so he continued to put his problem on the back burner.

Liam Griffiths

However, his symptoms continued to worsen and eventually became unmanageable, forcing the lad to go to hospital.He was initially informed that he had Crohn’s disease – where parts of the digestive system become inflamed – before doctors urgently got back in touch with him a month later to come back in.Recalling the phone call, Liam said: “As soon as they said for me to bring my mum, Susan, I knew. I don’t even remember the hospital trip – I’ve just blocked the trauma out.”His life was then tipped upside down when medics told him he had peritoneal cancer and would need to undergo gruelling chemotherapy treatment.The lad also went under the knife in a bid to banish the disease, but it was unsuccessful and his condition is terminal.The former oil rig worker, from Middlesborough, continued: “I remember I asked what my lifespan would look like and my doctor said he doesn’t want to give me a timeframe of when my life could end, because he doesn’t want me to focus my whole life around it.

“I agreed and just decided I wanted to get home, fulfil some wishes and just live my life while I can.”Sadly, Liam’s worsening health means he has had to cross off demanding activities such as completing Tough Mudder, swimming with sharks and skiing because he ‘won’t physically be able to do’ them.He is on a mission to create ‘key memories’ with his loved ones as well as reminding people to put their health first because he believes ignoring his symptoms and ‘not getting checked sooner is the biggest mistake’ he’s ever made.The Brit said: “They found my cancer at stage three advanced – but if I had just gone to see the doctors earlier maybe they could have caught it. I was self-employed, and I needed the money, so I just kept powering through.“I did what I thought a man needed to do. I was manning up.”

He added: “I want to push this message because if just one or two people go to the hospital and get checked because of my mistake and my story that would be amazing.”The chemotherapy treatment available on the NHS is no longer working for Liam, and he is now paying for private treatment, scans and medicine in a bid to prolong his life.His close pal Eve Bannatyne, daughter of Dragon’s Den star Duncan Bannatyne, launched a JustGiving fundraiser which has so far raised more than £18,000.Pascale Harvie, president and general manager of JustGiving said: “Liam is an incredible young man and we at JustGiving are in awe of his bravery.“Not only has he found the strength to battle this horrible disease, but he also raising much needed awareness to encourage other men to get themselves checked, by sharing his own story.”