Brave Anna loses battle with cancer

Anna Flaws
Anna Flaws

ANNA Flaws, the Methilhill woman who campaigned for fairness over NHS drug treatment, has died.

The mental health nurse, who waged a prominent crusade for people to gain better access to care, passed away last Wednesday at Kirkcaldy’s Victoria Hospice.

Anna, who was 50, had fought a 19-month battle with oesophageal cancer.

Her case was featured by the Mail and, two months ago, she handed over a petition, signed by nearly 3000 people, to the Scottish Government.

It called for action to ensure people in Scotland had similar access to NHS treatment for cancer, and other illnesses, as currently exists in England.

Anna had responded well to treatment with Herceptin, a drug not available through the NHS in Scotland on economic grounds.

Local MP Lindsay Roy, who supported Anna’s cause, said he was “devastated” to hear of her death.

Her campaign was “selfless”, he said, as she wanted to ensure other people benefited from free access to Herceptin.

She firmly believed it had made a difference to her quality of life and people in similar circumstances should have similar gain.

In a letter to her family, Mr Roy said: “She was one of the most courageous and inspiring individuals I have ever met, who fought such a dreadful disease with dignity, bravery and optimism.

“Anna was realistic about her prognosis but determined to live the remainder of her life to the full.”

He added: “She never, in the short time I was privileged to know her, made any complaint about her condition; she made the best of the time she had left.

“She set a fine example to others of how to cope in the face of pain and adversity.

“It was an enormous privilege to have known and worked with Anna, to have witnessed her determination, optimism and courage.”

Survived by her daughter, Julie, Anna’s funeral is at 12.45pm this Friday at Kirkcaldy Crematorium.