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12 May 2010, 05:51
A Kent mum has died just weeks after winning a fight to get the cancer drug she needed on the NHS.
Nikki Phelps, 37, from Gravesend suffered from a rare form or glandular cancer and was paying out £100 a day to pay for the tablets.
Friends had been holding sponsored events, including a walk around the Hoo Peninsular to raise money, and the mum of 2 year-old twin boys was planning to sell her family home.
The health trust decided to do a u-turn and fund the drug after reviewing Nikki's case.
Nikki's husband Bill says her condition deteriorated, she suffered a stroke and never regained enough strength to have more chemotherapy.
Speaking from the family home, he paid emotional tribute to his wife, saying her legacy would live on as family and friends plan to honour her memory.
He said: "I was holding her hand, her mother Kay and sister Julie were also there at her bedside. She had a picture of the twins on her. She breathed in - and didn't breathe out again.
"It was very peaceful and nothing like as traumatic as I thought it would be. She was a good person and she's going to be deeply missed by a lot of people.
"But she battled all the way. She has outlived her life expectancy and I'm proud to have been married to her.''
He said her legacy will be the creation of a foundation to help people with pending appeal cases gain access to life-saving drugs.
Mr Phelps said they also want to help people who have not gained funding for cancer drugs to get in touch with others who have surplus supplies.
James Thallon, NHS West Kent's medical director, said: "Everyone at NHS West Kent would like to offer our deepest sympathy and condolences to the family of Mrs Phelps."