Tragedy as 27-year-old cancer patient who raised 35,000 for life-saving treatment abroad dies just two WEEKS before the operation<br style="font-weight: bold;">
Laura Baxter, 27, had been fighting cancer of the appendix for two years Told by UK doctors it was inoperable but offered lifeline by Belgian surgeons <br>She had to raise 25,000 for the operation, which the NHS would reimburse if she survived<br>MailOnline reported her story just three weeks ago – when she believed she had six months to liveDied last Friday just two weeks before she was due to travel to Belgium

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<strong>UPDATED:</strong>

15:15 GMT, 21 November 2012

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<p>A young cancer patient who raised 35,000 in just three weeks to fund life-saving surgery has died – just two weeks before the operation.</p><p>Laura Baxter, 27, had been fighting a rare cancer of the appendix for two years. Chemotherapy and an operation to remove the cancer had already failed.</p><p>British doctors said they could do nothing more to help, but medics in Belgium had agreed to try the procedure again at a cost of 25,000.</p><p>Just three weeks ago, MailOnline told of Laura's plight to raise the money to have the operation, attracting comments from scores of readers. <br></p>
<img src="http://www.big-wife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/1c21article-2236308-1625C804000005DC-983_634x862.jpg" width="634" height="862" alt="Laura Baxter, 27, had been fighting a rare cancer of the appendix for two years. UK surgeons had told he it was inoperable " class="blkBorder" />
<p class="imageCaption">Laura Baxter, 27, had been fighting a rare cancer of the appendix for two years. UK surgeons had told he it was inoperable </p>
<p>Cancer of the appendix affects just one in two million people. <br></p><p>Laura had surgery to remove the deadly cancerous tissue in June, but was told it in August it had started to regrow.</p><p>When MailOnline reported the story, she had been told she had six to eight months to live. But news came this week that she had tragically passed away.

</p><p>As soon as Laura had been given hope by the Belgian doctors, her family and friends began fundraising. They reached their 25,000 target within ten days, going on to raise 35,000 in just a few weeks.</p><p>Speaking after reaching her fundraising total, Laura, from St Ives, Cambridgeshire, had said: 'I think it&#8217;s amazing that there are so many nice, good-hearted people that genuinely care for another person&#8217;s life and in such a selfless way.</p><p>'I should be saying loads more but am at a loss for words. I just want to say thank you to everyone.'</p><p>But Laura was cruelly denied her final chance of life when she was taken in to Addenbrooke&#8217;s Hospital, Cambridge, on October 28 with an infection.</p>
<img src="http://www.big-wife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/0c86article-2236308-1625C817000005DC-617_634x819.jpg" width="634" height="819" alt="Laura, with boyfriend Wayne, had been offered a lifeline by Belgian medics, who had agreed to try the procedure again at a cost of 25,000" class="blkBorder" />
<p class="imageCaption">Laura, with boyfriend Wayne, had been offered a lifeline by Belgian medics, who had agreed to try the procedure again at a cost of 25,000</p>
<p>Last Wednesday, her condition began to rapidly deteriorate and she died in hospital at 10pm on Friday.</p><p>Her mother Jacky Baxter and partner Wayne Cooper – who was planning to marry Laura and adopt children with her – were by her side.</p><p>Mrs Baxter said her daughter had been 'so excited' that the money for the operation had been raised so quickly. <br></p><p>'Laura said she was ready to go home and it was planned that she would come out this Monday, but she started to deteriorate on Wednesday. It happened so quickly, we were in shock.</p><p>'Then on Friday she shut her little
eyes and just drifted off. She didn&#8217;t have to suffer in any way. The
nurses and doctors were there for her every step of the way.'</p><p>The money raised
will now be split between the PMP Survivors Charity, to
fund research into the rare cancer, and the C9/D9 wards at Addenbrooke&#8217;s
Hospital.<br>
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<p>Laura&#8217;s family hope the funds will be
used to pay for new medical equipment to replace the old machines the
nurses currently use. <br></p>
<img src="http://www.big-wife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/cec0article-2236308-1625D537000005DC-234_634x358.jpg" width="634" height="358" alt="Well-wishers donated 35,000 after Laura's story was revealed three weeks ago, when she believed she had six months to live. She died last Friday " class="blkBorder" />
<p class="imageCaption">Well-wishers donated 35,000 after Laura's story was revealed three weeks ago, when she believed she had six months to live. She died last Friday </p>

<p> </p><p>Laura was diagnosed with
pseudomyxoma peritonei (PMP) two years ago and underwent an operation to
remove a cyst that contained a cyst containing cancerous tissue. <br>
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<p>Doctors thought the cancer had been contained, but the disease came back and spread.</p>
<p>In June of this year, Laura had her
sixth operation, a 12-hour procedure to her affected organs, including
parts of her small intestine, at a specialist hospital in Basingstoke.<br>
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<p>Surgeons left three per cent of the
cancer on her liver and planned to treat it with a heated chemotherapy
bath – where drugs are warmed to 40 degrees and left in the abdomen for
hours.<br>
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<p>But in August, doctors at
Addenbrooke&#8217;s Hospital discovered the cancer had returned and Laura was
given six-to eight months to live.<br>
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<p>Both UK-based PMP specialist
hospitals, The Christie, in Manchester, and The Basingstoke and North
Hampshire Hospital, said the cancer was too advanced for their surgeons
and a specialist was required.<br>
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<p>Brave Laura refused to give in and found doctors around the world that would be able to help her.<br>
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<p>She contacted Dr Wim Ceelen, of Ghent
University Hospital, in Belgium, a veteran of 450 of the life-saving
operations, who was willing to carry out the surgery for 25,000.<br>
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<p>Eurostar generously offered free travel to Ghent for Laura and Wayne.<br>
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<p>Laura was just waiting to recover
from an infection, which she was being treated for in Addenbrooke&#8217;s
Hospital since October 28, before she could book a surgery date with Dr
Ceelen.<br>
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<p>Her family said the NHS would not pay for the operation because Addenbrooke&#8217;s Hospital believed the cancer was terminal.<br></p>
<img src="http://www.big-wife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/a061article-2236308-1625C81B000005DC-728_306x423.jpg" width="306" height="423" alt="Dr Wim Ceelen at Gent University Hospital, Belgium, believed he could help Laura" class="blkBorder" />
<p class="imageCaption">Dr Wim Ceelen at Gent University Hospital, Belgium, believed he could help Laura</p>
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<p>But they said if Laura had survived the operation they would reimburse her part of the money.</p><p>However, sadly her condition began to deteriorate last Wednesday and she died at Addenbrooke&#8217;s Hospital on Friday.</p><p>Her mother added: 'Throughout the last two years, she kept on saying she wouldn&#8217;t die, she was so stubborn about it. She had everybody behind her and she drew strength from that. It kept her battling for longer.</p><p>'She did her
research and found doctors in America who wanted to charge 45,000 plus
money for care and everything. </p><p>'Then she found others in Norway,
Sweden, Germany and Switzerland but then found the doctor in Belgium
willing to do it – then it was just a case of getting the money. With all these other countries having specialists, we need them in Britain.'</p><p>She added that her daughter was a good-natured girl who 'would do anything for anyone'. 'She just wanted to help. She was very mischievous and would play pranks on her friends.</p><p>'She wanted a Furby for her 28th birthday on December 14 because they were back in fashion. She was still a little girl who liked that kind of thing.'</p><p>Laura's partner Wayne, 29, said: 'Addenbrooke&#8217;s told us that although she was quite poorly she was well enough to go home.</p><p>'We thought she was going to go to Belgium and it was going to go ahead. She was just amazed by the generosity of everybody around. In a week and a half they had the 25,000. We think there is 35,000 in the account now and money is still coming in.' </p><p>He added: 'I only knew her for two years but because of everything that's happened, I feel I&#8217;ve known her all my life. </p><p>'She was amazing and gorgeous as a person and that&#8217;s why I fell for her. We were planning for the future.</p><p>'We thought it all was over now we had the money, and were planning on getting married and adopt children.'</p>