‘Jade Goody saved my life’

A woman has told how she owes her life to her former dental nurse and reality TV star, Jade Goody.

Sarah Thurston, 58, had a radical hysterectomy in 2011 after putting off smear tests for years until she heard about Goody’s death.

She said: “Jade Goody was my dental nurse at a practice in Covent Garden in London.

“I remember when she first got on to Big Brother, everybody in the dental practice was very excited for her.

“When she died in 2009, I was living in Greece but was over in the UK for a few days. It really hit home to me and I thought ‘Blimey, this is so sad.’

“When I had moved to Greece, I kept receiving the invites from my English GP to go for my smear test but I was never in the UK long enough to take them up.

“I didn’t get round to going in Greece because I didn’t know how to go about it.

“I thought ‘Nobody in my family has ever had cancer, sod it, it doesn’t matter’.

“But once Jade died, I thought I really must do something about it and so I eventually booked myself in for a smear test in Greece.”

Ms Thurston was diagnosed with an infection and given drugs to clear it up but then developed other symptoms, including bleeding after intercourse.

In October 2011, she was admitted to hospital as an emergency and went on to have a radical hysterectomy, 25 cycles of radiotherapy and several cycles of chemotherapy.

She has now been cancer-free for more than seven years.

“Jade Goody saved my life,” she said.

“Had I not been in England when the news of her death was everywhere, I would never have bothered getting a smear test and I would not have sought to follow up once I started bleeding.

“I was going through the menopause at that time and I would have put those symptoms down to the menopause.

“I would urge any woman to get their symptoms checked and to go for regular smear tests.”

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