Kiwi cancer patient dies after long struggle

By Martin Johnston

Cancer patient Adam Kelliher has died. Photo / Jason Oxenham.
Cancer patient Adam Kelliher has died. Photo / Jason Oxenham.

Adam Kelliher, one of the patients who featured in the Herald series, "Cancer - the cost of a life", has died aged 44.

From Pukekohe and a married father of two daughters aged 10 and 13, Kelliher was a jewellery designer and worked at Regal Castings.

A notice on Regal's Facebook page today says: "A very tough day for the Regal family yesterday.

"We are very sad to have to tell you after a courageous battle Adam passed away yesterday morning.

"Adam was an amazing person who touched everyone he met. Our thoughts are with Trish and his beloved princesses Amberlee and Charlize. RIP Adam, no more suffering for you."

Kelliher struggled hard against his illness and used various alternative therapies in addition to standard treatments including surgery and chemotherapy.

"I would do anything to survive for my daughters," he told the Herald last year. "That's my only thought. I don't entertain anything about not getting through this."

He had been diagnosed with bowel cancer at 40, after experiencing delays.

The diagnosis was made by a colonoscopy he had waited for three months on an "urgent" waiting list. He was referred for the investigation after passing blood.

Kelliher had already been on a lower-level waiting list for six months after experiencing a tiny amount of bleeding that had been ongoing for about a year and had been attributed to haemorrhoid's.

He had surgery to remove a large section of his bowel. He later had part of his liver removed, following a treatment called selective internal radiation therapy in which radioactive beads are fed into the liver through a tube slid into a blood vessel in an incision at the groin.

The radiation therapy shrank the liver tumours enough to permit surgery. But tumours were later found in his liver and also in his pelvis.

- NZ Herald

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