An excruciating headache that forced a dad-of-two out of a work meeting ended up being a sign of the brain tumour that would lead to his death.
Paul Ashmore, a Liverpool local, died on September 5 after suffering from complications relating to his cancer treatment.
The 37-year-old was suffering from Central Nervous System lymphoma, a rare type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma at the time of his death.
He had a long medical history and had previously been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma but later went into remission.
Justine told the Liverpool Echo that the pair had been together for 17 years, having met when she had just started university.
“He was the life and soul of the party. As soon as he walked into the room you knew he was there,” she said.
“I remember when I first met him I was like ‘who is this guy?’ – he was just so bubbly and chatty. He was so warm and friendly with everyone he met.
“Everyone said he was the nicest guy who always wanted to do the best for people. He was literally my soulmate and I can’t believe he’s gone.”
In early 2018, Paul had been diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma but after a course of chemotherapy was back to full health.
Justine, who found out she was pregnant with her second daughter Naomi during the start of the pandemic last year, said in some way the last 18-months turned out to be a blessing.
She said: “We had a lovely year really as we were both working from home. We got to spend quality time together and Claudia was at home.
“Lockdown had its blessings because we just got to spend so much time together as a family and I’ll always cherish that.”
A headache that was so bad it forced him out of a meeting at work in July, this year, turned out to be a brain tumour, with Paul being diagnosed with cancer for the second time in his life.
In August, Paul started an intensive course of chemotherapy to treat his central nervous system lymphoma.
Justine said the diagnosis was “devastating”.
“But again, because he had been through so much we thought okay, this is terrible but there’s a treatment plan and we’ll get through this,” she said.
“It had gone well but then he developed neutropenic sepsis, which is one of the complications of the treatment as it was such an extreme chemotherapy.”
Paul was rushed to hospital on September 4 and died on Sunday, September 5.
A fundraising page has been set up by friends in memory of Paul to help his family at this devastating time.
Speaking of his passing, Justine said she “never dreamed” he wouldn’t make it through.
“I think also he used to hide how bad he was feeling, he was always so brave and strong. We didn’t think anything would ever get him,” she said.
“I don’t feel like I’ve fully processed it yet. I can’t really cope with what’s happened. I’ve got so much support around me – my family and friends have been amazing.
“Claudia is very upset but she seems to be coping well. She talks about him all the time. When she finds a feather on the floor she says, ‘That’s from Daddy’.
Her youngest, Naomi, also recognised her ‘da da’ when the family were looking at photos, Justine said.
“I don’t want her to forget him,” she said.
“He was to me the greatest husband I could have wished for.”