Acid Reflux Not To Be Ignored, interview with lucky to be alive Chris Johnson
“Do not ignore heartburn,“ says Chris, as he raises awareness for Oesophageal cancer.
“I’m lucky to be here,” says Chris Johnson, 53 from Southport in an interview with Claire Kelly of Southport Media Group.
Chris, a well known Sandgrounder, and ex landlord of The Coronation, had his life completely changed just a year ago with a shock cancer diagnosis.
He’d suffered from acid reflux for years and was having a routine camera check in July 2021, when a red inflammation was spotted down his throat. He was quickly sent for ‘PET scans’ at Clatterbridge where cancer of the oesophagus was diagnosed.
Chris had to then undergo a massive operation in September which he describes: “It was 12.5 hours long and I died twice. It is the biggest operation that Royal Liverpool does. I spent 7 days in critical care which was brutal. I caught pneumonia. I hallucinated and it was very traumatic. I was then moved to a specialist ward and spent a total of 57 days in hospital, having six operations in total in that time due to developing sepsis.”
Chris is now raising awareness of Oesophageal cancer which is a little known cancer.
Chris explains: “Many people have acid reflux and just go to the chemist and get some Gaviscon and think nothing more. I always say to them now to get it checked because there can be an underlying condition causing it – like there was with me.”
“I didn’t feel ill before the diagnosis. I hadn’t lost weight, in fact I had put it on! Acid reflux is not always lifestyle and weight related. Don’t ignore it!”
I asked Chris what the main thing has been that has helped him along during all the hard times.
He told me: “Keep your sense of humour! I still keep laughing and joking. I’ve got a really good group of friends and we have great banter still, I kept in constant touch when I could whilst in hospital”
Chris was really active in the lockdown making funny videos on his Facebook which got a lot of hits, joking about drinks and lockdown rules. Chris was even smiling and joking during our interview.
“Don’t get me wrong there were times when I wanted to fall asleep and not wake up … but I keep going. I know in reality I’ve been given an extra 5 years, this type of cancer has a high percentage rate of returning, ”
Chris lives by himself but does go out for only short trips as he is still recovering from all his operations and slowly gaining his strength back.
“I need a lot of sleep now, little things tire me out! I have gone to having three monthly checks though now, which is encouraging, although I have some nodes still to go, which they say my body will fight off without further treatment.”
Thank you Chris for sharing your story and we hope it raises awareness. Website: www.opa.org.uk”
Article from – Q Local Acid Reflux Not To Be Ignored, interview with lucky to be alive Chris Johnson (qlocal.co.uk)