A dad can no longer tell kids he loves them since losing his tongue to cancer.
Scott Ruxton injured his tongue at work during lockdown and didn’t think much of it at first.
But when a bite wound would not heal he began to get worried.
Face-to-face doctor’s appointments were scarce and the dad-of three was first offered telephone consultations instead.
Doctors also prescribed antibiotics which he said proved to be of little help.
It would be several months before the 37-year-old builder, of Blaenau Gwent, finally got a hospital appointment and the medical tests he so desperately needed.
WalesOnline reports the result of that biopsy turned out to be the last thing he wanted to hear.
He had cancer.
Since then Scott has undergone a battery of different treatments – including radiotherapy, chemo and various operations to remove his tongue, larynx and lymph glands – all of which eventually saw him given the all clear.
Emily Broom, Scott’s former partner of 11 years with whom he has two children said: “But since then the cancer’s come back and, three months ago, he got told it was terminal.”
The 29-year-old care home worker added that for the last several weeks her ex has been living at her house so she can look after him.
She said: “Scott’s been deteriorating recently but doesn’t want to go into a hospice. He’s always been fiercely independent and hates people fussing over him.
“So, while having his bed set up in my kitchen isn’t ideal, it’s do-able. The most important thing is he can be close to the girls and we all make the most of what time he’s got left.”
Emily added since they split up three years ago, but that she and Scott have remained friends.
She described how hard it’s been watching cancer eat away at him.
Emily said: “Scott was always the life and soul of the party and you’d always hear him long before you saw him. So that he can’t speak now is especially cruel.
“He has an app on his phone which he uses to communicate, but it’s just not the same as being able to tell his kids that he loves them.
“He gets so frustrated with that and it’s heartbreaking to watch him struggle.
“We’ve two girls together – Lily-May who’s six and nine-year-old Mia-May. Fourteen-year-old Jessie is his first daughter from another relationship.
“I can’t imagine how hard all this is on them but they’re trying the best they can just to get through each day. But it’s a lot for kids that young to get their head around.”
She added that the plan is to “make as many memories as possible while they still can.”
As a result, a GoFundMe page has been set up in the hope of raising sufficient funds to pay for one last family holiday together.
She added: “The community has been incredible, auctioning off a signed Cardiff City FC shirt – Scott’s favourite team – and a signed photo of the Welsh rugby team, as well as organising charity fun days.
“There’s actually another one taking pace at Llanhilleth RFC this weekend.”
Thousands have been raised so far, she added.
Emily said: “Scott’s been immensely touched by everything people have been doing for him.
“He even wrote a letter for us to read out.
“In it he thanked everyone and said that, although he’s not got long left, he’s going to carry on fighting.
“Joking to the last, he wrote, ‘I’m not one to roll over and give up. So don’t be surprised if you suddenly see me out and about, or on the TV news’.”