23.06.2024

I was told chemo had left me infertile — now I’m expecting a son I might never meet

A cancer-stricken dad told chemotherapy had left him infertile is expecting his fifth child — but he fears he may not live long enough to see the birth of his son.

Andrew Wresford, 37, was diagnosed with bowel last February after booking an appointment with his GP when he developed stomach pains and felt gassy.

The ex-carpenter, from Bradford, underwent gruelling chemo, which medics warned would prevent him having more kids because of the damage it can cause to sperm.

So Mr Wresford and his partner Rachel Mitton were shocked when they found out in January that she was pregnant again.

Despite being excited about having their third child together, Mr Wresford — who has two kids from a previous relationship — said he is ’emotional’ that he may not meet his son, after being told he only has months to live.

Rachel Mitton, 36, is caring for the beloved father in their West Yorkshire home alongside a team of palliative care nurses

Rachel Mitton, 36, is caring for the beloved father in their West Yorkshire home alongside a team of palliative care nurses

Andrew Wreford (middle), with his four children Hollie (left), Ezra, Alba & William

Mr Wresford visited the doctor in February last year when he started feeling gassy and began experiencing stomach pains.

After a colonoscopy — a test to check inside the bowels — he was diagnosed with bowel cancer.

Around 43,000 Brits and 153,020 Americans are diagnosed with the cancer every year.

The cancer, which can cause changes in bowel habits, tummy pain and bloating, is one of the most common types and most commonly affects the over-60s.

Mr Wresford and his family initially believed that his cancer could be managed.

But further tests revealed the cancer had spread to other organs and was terminal.

Six warning signs of bowel cancer revealed

Bowel cancer can cause you to have blood in your poo, a change in bowel habit, a lump inside your bowel which can cause an obstructions. Some people also suffer with weight loss a s a result of these symptoms

Bowel cancer can cause you to have blood in your poo, a change in bowel habits, a lump inside your bowel which can cause an obstruction. Some people also suffer from weight loss as a result of these symptoms

Mr Wresford was told he had a few years to live and underwent chemotherapy in a bid to slow down his decline.

His family say he was told the treatment, which stops cancer cells from growing and spreading in the body, made him infertile.

Chemo is known to slow down or stop sperm production, which is permanent for some men but temporary for others.

However, the couple said they were stunned when Ms Mitton fell pregnant in January, with the third child they hoped to have before Mr Wresford was diagnosed.

Then, earlier this year, doctors revised Mr Wresford’s survival time down to just a few months.

He talked to his doctors about going through another cycle of chemotherapy but chose not to press ahead due to how sick it had made him and because medics could not guarantee it would make him any better.

Mr Wresford, who spends most of his time in bed and is looked after by his partner, now fears he may not live to see the September due date.

He said: ‘I’m scared about how is Rachel going to cope without me but excited about the fact we’re having another child.

‘I’m also emotional that I’m not going to be around to meet my son.’

Ms Mitton said she was shattered to be losing her ‘rock and best friend’, but said their new son would let ‘another part of Andrew’ live on.

The mother-of-two said: ‘Me and Andrew had wanted another child so, it was just meant to be — our little light in the dark.

Andrew Wresford, 37, from Bradford, was diagnosed with bowel cancer in February, 2022

Andrew visited the doctor in February last year when he started feeling gassy and began experiencing stomach pains. After a colonoscopy he was diagnosed with bowel cancer which spread to his organs just a few months later and was terminal

Andrew visited the doctor in February last year when he started feeling gassy and began experiencing stomach pains. After a colonoscopy he was diagnosed with bowel cancer which spread to his organs just a few months later and was terminal

Mr Wresford’s sister Jackie Hamilton (right), 48, who flew back from living in Australia to be with him, is heartbroken over her brother’s rapid decline

‘As heartbroken as I am about having to bring up our children without my rock and best friend, this baby means another part of Andrew will always be with me — a true gift.

‘I couldn’t quite believe the timing of the pregnancy and I was quite anxious about it initially, with Andrew’s health being my priority.

‘But life should always be celebrated and I know this baby boy will bring everyone some much-needed love and joy, even in the hardest of times.

Mr Wresford’s sister Jackie Hamilton, 48, who flew back from living in Australia to be with him, is heartbroken over her brother’s rapid decline.

She said: ‘We managed to have some family time then from mid-February he went downhill and ended up having to have a stoma put in. There has been no comeback.

‘He has dramatically changed physically. I was heartbroken when I got here.

‘When he went to that next level, he couldn’t even talk to me. He sleeps a lot and does not eat much.

‘It was really heart-breaking to see him wasting away. He is 6ft 2 inches and was always big and strong.’

Ms Hamilton is helping to collect donations for Andrews family through a GoFundMe page, which has so far raised £3,900.

Ms Hamilton called the news that Rachel had fallen pregnant ‘bittersweet’.

She said: ‘He is never going to know his dad and my brother might not be able to see his baby being born in September.

‘[But] it is lovely for Rachel to have another part of him.’

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