Family’s shock as Hartlepool woman, 55, dies of rare cancer just days after diagnosis

Pamela Crossman
Pamela Crossman
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FUN-LOVING Pam Crossman had a “fantastic” sense of humour and loved nothing more than going away on holiday with her friends.

Yet unbeknown to Pam, vertigo symptoms she had suffered with for around two months turned out to be a rare form of cancer which tragically took her life just days after she was diagnosed.

Mary Crossman

Mary Crossman

Pam died in July this year, aged just 55.

Just a week before her sudden death, medics had carried out a number of tests but couldn’t determine what was wrong with her.

She was discharged from the University Hospital of Hartlepool but brought back in after she collapsed at her home, in Sandringham Road, just two days later.

Medics then carried out a lumbar puncture before giving Pam and her mum Mary Crossman the heartbreaking news that she was suffering with cancer of the fluid in the brain.

As her family did what they could to get to grips with the diagnosis, Pam’s condition quickly deteriorated and she sadly died just days later.

Today, in a brave interview with the Mail, devastated Mary said: “When they told me what Pam was suffering with I just broke down, I was hysterical.

“I didn’t want to live to see my kids go.

“I would rather have died myself than have to see one of my kids go.

“She had so much to live for, she always worked hard, she loved a good laugh, had a fantastic sense of humour and she loved her holidays.”

Pam, who worked at Dunelm Mill, in Hartlepool, was due to be going away with her large group of friends to Portugal at the end of June but contacted her mum the night before to say she had decided against it because she was suffering with vertigo.

Mary said Pam hadn’t been feeling well for “a couple of months” up to that point, and persuaded her to go for a check-up.

“She had been complaining that she didn’t feel well and I told her it was more than just vertigo,” explained Mary, a mum-of-six, grandmother-of-seven and great grandmother-of-nine who lives in the Owton Manor area of Hartlepool.

Pam was admitted into hospital and kept in for a number of tests, but was discharged after medics told her they couldn’t find anything wrong.

But two days later, Pam collapsed at home and was rushed back to hospital.

It was then the lumbar puncture was carried out and Pam and her family were given the devastating diagnosis.

“I have never seen anything take hold so quickly as it did of Pam,” said a tearful Mary.

“To see her deteriorate so quickly was heartbreaking.

“The fact she didn’t suffer for a long time is a good thing, I know that.

“But it was still heartbreaking.”

Mary has lost four close relatives to heart attacks, but says nobody in her family has suffered with cancer.

But she described her huge pride in seeing hundreds of close friends and relatives turning out at Pam’s funeral at Stranton Cemetery.

“That just showed how loved she was, how much of an impact she had on so many people,” added Mary.