A HUSBAND whose cancer-stricken wife was told to prepare for death in the UK has vowed to spend hundreds of thousands of pounds on radical treatment in Germany in a desperate bid to save her life.

Doctors at Airedale Hospital sent in a palliative care team to ask how Sally Major, 33, wanted to spend her final few weeks but her husband Liam insisted “a death sentence was not an option”.

The family, of Silsden, has already run up bills close to £130,000 for expensive treatment at Hallwang Private Oncology Clinic, near Stuttgart, but early signs show that the cutting-edge therapies are shrinking her tumours, said Mr Major.

“Basically Sally’s having everything here that the UK told her they weren’t prepared to give her because of her being so unwell but a death sentence at 33 was not an option for us,” he said.

“I feel gutted for those NHS patients who give up and don’t go elsewhere. There is hope and we are not giving up.”

The couple’s world was rocked in May 2015 when Mrs Major was diagnosed with advanced stage four bowel cancer, having been told for four years she was suffering irritable bowel syndrome.

She had visited doctors 12 times complaining about aches and pains but by the time the cancer was diagnosed her bowel was obstructed by a massive tumour. Emergency surgery was carried out but the disease had spread.

A bout of peritonitis and a sepsis attack meant Mrs Major could not have the oral chemotherapy she needed to continue fighting her cancer in the UK and so the couple decided to put her care in the hands of German clinicians.

The first week of treatment in Germany cost just under £32,000, and the current stay which will last about three weeks could cost up to £90,000, said Mr Major, because of an intensive four-day infusion programme involving the Anti-EPCAM antibody, not approved in the UK.

Mr Major said: “A few weeks ago she was in Airedale on a syringe-driver, dosed up to being almost comatose and being visited by the palliative care team asking her how she wanted to spend her last few weeks but here she is in Germany doing so well that she was able to eat out at a local restaurant with her family.

“We were told it was going to be a very tough few days but it’s the antibody treatment that could show the most pretty amazing results for Sally.

“After this we will have to come back every three weeks at least for the next three months for about four days at a time and there will be more of it, it won’t stop there.”

Dr Mark Saunders, chairman of Beating Bowel Cancer’s medical board and oncology consultant at The Christie in Manchester - one of the largest cancer treatment centres in Europe - said he sympathised with people who felt their only chance of surviving was to go abroad for treatment but advised looking at what was available in England first.

“Germany has no better licensed treatments than us,” said Dr Saunders.

“We come across a lot of people who are going there but the problem is they are going to clinics, some of which aren’t licensed, and having treatments that can be un-proven and have not been through clinical trials.”

He added: “ People never want to lose hope and quite rightly they are clinging on to what they can but this is a time when people should be close to home near their family and friends.

“I have tremendous sympathy for people who feel their only chance is to go abroad, it’s a terrible time but I don’t believe it’s the answer. They should look to see what is available in England.

“If they have the funds, there are private clinics here to get proven treatments not funded by the NHS; there is also a top-up option where patients can buy the treatments privately but still get the rest of the NHS service free. If anyone ever feels they are not getting the right answers from their consultant they can also get a second opinion.”

Mr Major thanked the army of fundraisers who have been raising thousands of pounds with fun days, sponsored walks and even an abseil down the side of one of Bradford’s tallest buildings.

As well as remortgaging their home and taking out a £25,000 loan, the family has sold their car for £25,000 and borrowed £30,000 from family and friends. The bills could potentially reach £300,000.

“Once the money from remortgaging and the loans are gone, it’s gone and we will be solely be reliant on fundraisers,” he said.

There is about £10,000 more to come from a mammoth 500-mile sponsored relay walk from John O’Groats to Silsden organised last month by family friend Craig Reynolds and his pal Ali Armour and opticians at Specsavers in Idle are putting on a raffle, tombola and cake stall on Saturday (February 18) from 9am to 5.30pm.

To make a donation, go to youcaring.com/sallymajor.