woman with a bandana on her head
Jade Small
Jade Small
July 13, 2024 ·  3 min read

A young mom was misdiagnosed for 11-months. Now she’s lost her battle

When we are sick as children, we are taught that we must see the doctor. We grow up believing that ‘Doc knows best.’ So, when they tell you that you’re healthy, you automatically trust them. However, we must also learn to trust our bodies to help guide us when something is wrong, even if it isn’t apparent yet. Sadly, this woman learned a fatal lesson when her doctor misdiagnosed her.

Haley Beaumount knew that something was wrong but trusted her doctor, and it cost her everything.

Fatally Misdiagnosed

Hayley, a mother from Christchurch, lost her battle with cancer after being misdiagnosed for almost an entire year. She is survived by her only daughter Abbey, age eleven.[1]

The thirty-one-year-old mother was later diagnosed with stage four cervical cancer in December of 2019. 

misdiagnosed
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I didn’t know how to react because my dad was there and had broken down, I was trying to be strong for him’

My first thoughts went to my daughter wondering how she would cope with the news”

Haley Beaumount

Hayley knew something was not right in her body. She repeatedly sought medical advice but was repeatedly told that she was perfectly healthy even though her symptoms worsened and increased.

Finding Out After Being Misdiagnosed

After massive bleeding in early January 2019, Hayley went to her doctor and found out that she had a blood clot ‘the size of a tennis ball’. Her doctor reassured her that she was too young, fit, and healthy for it to be anything too serious. Only eleven months later, while others were preparing to celebrate new years eve, Hayley was admitted to Christchurch Women’s Hospital. She had kidney failure, little did she know, that would not be the worst news of the day.[2]

“I had just woken up from my procedure and the surgeon came in and said she needed to speak with me. She apologized and said that they had found cancer during the surgery and that it had already spread.”

Haley Beaumount

The doctor responsible for the misdiagnosis was later reported to the Health and Disability Commissioner. 

It So Easily Could Have Been Different

Hayley reflected on how she would have preferred to see her usual doctor, whom she had seen regularly for years. Unfortunately, her GP retired earlier that year. Regardless of that, she realizes she does not have the energy to focus on what happened and should concentrate on what matters, including spending as much time as humanly possible with her daughter.

Before being misdiagnosed, Hayley had a job as a pre-school substitute but had to give it up to seek treatment. 

Hayley had just her second round of intensive chemotherapy and understandably was exhausted and spoke with a voice so tired that it was almost inaudible.

She had just started to lose her hair and commented on some of the other side effects, including numb fingers and weak muscles. She says that the side effects last four to five days but are manageable, provided she gets her treatment once every third week.[2]

An Important Message

According to the Cancer Society, in New Zealand, cervical cancers are found in almost one hundred and fifty women each year. The latest data from the Ministry of Health shows that 25,000 abnormal smear test results among women. Without cervical screening, one in ninety will develop cancer, and around two hundred will die. With the screening, 1 in 570 will develop cancer, and 1 in 1280 would die.[3]

Haley was given six months to two years to live but never made it that far, all because she was misdiagnosed.

If something doesn’t feel right with your body, push to get more tests done and get a second opinion”

Haley Beaumont

Keep Reading: ‘I smoke weed after putting my kids to bed – it’s no worse than a glass of wine’

Sources

  1. Kaiapoi’s mother loses the battle with cancer after 11 months of misdiagnosis.” NZ Herald. February 09. 2021.
  2. Dying Kaiapoi mum urges women to get second medical opinion.” Chrislynchmedia.
  3. Psychological impact, support, and information needs for women with an abnormal Pap smear. BMC.