A bowel cancer patient given a terminal diagnosis after doctors missed her symptoms has died, days before she and her husband were to renew their wedding vows.
Toni Adie-Kinraid, a Dunedin mother of two, suffered severe symptoms before she was taken seriously.
Last year, when the 37-year-old was finally diagnosed with bowel cancer, it was incurable as it was too far advanced.
Toni knew she had just months to live when she spoke to the Herald in May as part of a series about inadequate cancer care in New Zealand.
"My chance to fight was taken away from me. A long life with my loving husband and two beautiful girls was taken away from me because my doctor didn't think it was serious and that's just not fair," she said at the time.
She and husband Shaun had planned to renew their vows this weekend. But on Tuesday Toni died, surrounded by her family.
Shaun said the shock of her death was hitting him in waves.
"It was sudden. Even though we knew it was going to happen, everyone got a bit complacent about how long she had," he said.
• Cancer: $15 million paid to cancer sufferers let down by public system
• Cancer sufferers wait up to six months for treatment - 'it's costing lives'
• Cancer series: Experts on failing system, need for medical accountability
On Tuesday night Shaun had stayed to hold Toni's hand before she went to sleep. That was the last time they spoke to each other.
He had dropped their girls off at school on Wednesday morning before the hospice called, advising him to come in.
A huge number of people visited that day to say goodbye, although Toni was unable to communicate with them.
Then Toni's sister, Michelle, asked if Shaun wanted some time on his own with his wife.
"I had said no earlier, but this time I said 'Yes, I do'. So I was the only one left in the room."
Toni opened her eyes a little and she recognised him, Shaun said. Then she died.
In May the Herald reported that ACC had found Toni could have been saved if an exam had been performed in 2015.
The young mum repeatedly went to the doctor with blood in her stool after waking in the night with intense stomach cramps and constipation. Each time she was given medication and sent home without being examined.
She started thinking all her pain was in her head.
"I would come home to my husband and say 'I just need to cut dairy out of my diet or gluten, obviously there's nothing wrong with me'."
Finally intense tailbone pain led Toni to present to a different doctor in February 2018.
"I was in tears by this stage because the pain was just so intense. The new doctor did an immediate rectal examination and could feel the mass," she said.
Within three days, an internal examination by a specialist had found the cancer, but it was too late - the prognosis was terminal.
Toni shared her story with the Herald in the hope that lessons could be learned from her case.
She was one of hundreds of Kiwi cancer sufferers that have received taxpayer-funded payouts from ACC after being let down by the public health system.
A Herald investigation found more than $15 million had been paid in the past five years after their cases were misdiagnosed, or not diagnosed quickly enough.
Toni said she had never received an apology from the GP nor been contacted since the error was discovered.
The general practice declined to comment to the Herald in May. It is understood the GP is still practising.
Toni had been due for urgent radiation on her biggest tumour on Friday as it had broken through the lung wall, Shaun said.
"We were planning to renew our wedding vows on the weekend," Shaun said.
"As hard as it is, it's a blessing she's not suffering any longer. It's going to be a hard road to go forward at this stage."
Toni's funeral will be held at 1.30pm next Tuesdayat Hope and Sons in Dunedin.