A BRAVE Methil man who fought against both cancer and the medical establishment has sadly succumbed to his illness.
The Mail regularly reported on the efforts of Tarek Ramzi and his wife Senga with their campaign for him to be allowed a life-prolonging radiation therapy, known as Cyberknife, on tumours inside his body.
The courageous local man unfortunately lost his fight for life last week.
NHS Fife originally refused to fund the cost of the treatment, which ran into tens of thousands of pounds, despite a similar method known as Gamaknife already having success on Mr Ramzi, and with around 50,000 patients worldwide using it.
Before performing a recent u-turn, the health authority told Mr Ramzi and his family the cost of £44,000 exceeded its ‘Quality Added Life Years’ limit of £30,000 and claimed it was ineffective.
That cost was revised to £22,500 after some tumours were removed from Mr Ramzi’s body last year.
After news of their efforts was reported in the Mail, the Levenmouth community rallied round and fund-raising events were set up to help pay for the treatment.
But, sadly, it came too late for Mr Ramzi, who passed away last Monday with his family by his side.
Daughter Tina told the Mail: “He was having trouble breathing so was taken into the hospital.
“On the Sunday, he was a lot better and was able to sit up and talk and eat something.
“Even though he was ill, he was still asking what the doctors were doing, asking what they were waiting for and saying he wanted to go home.
“We were just telling him that all he should be worried about was resting.”
Mr Ramzi and Senga fought a credible and relentless campaign to allow him to receive the Cyberknife treatment, which they researched to its fullest.
Refusing to accept NHS Fife’s verdict, Mr Ramzi, with the help of local councillor Andrew Rodger, was able to set up a meeting with health bosses and, amazingly, forced the decision to be reversed.
Cllr Rodger said: “Tarek was a lovely and humble gentleman and had a real desire to live.
“Sadly, he never started the treatment he should have received months ago, but that’s gone now.”
Daughter Tina added: “He has done so much to raise awareness of Cyberknife.
“The family really wants to thank everybody for their support, from everybody who donated raffle prizes to places like Leven Baptist Church, who held quiz nights.
“My dad died during Ramadan, which is considered special, so my mum is taking comfort in that.”
The Ramzi family hopes to hold an event to celebrate Tarek’s life and also to thank those who offered support during his illness and the fundraising campaign.