UK teacher who went to the doctor with 'stitch' dies a year later

  • 27/03/2023
Ros Atkin
Ros Atkin Photo credit: Liverpool Echo

An inspirational headteacher died after going to the doctors with a 'stitch-like pain'. 

Ros Atkin passed away on October 3 2022, a year after being diagnosed with stage four terminal bowel cancer. 

The 43-year-old from Liverpool initially thought the pain was related to a recent holiday in Scotland where she slept on different hotel beds, but with the pain only worsening once home, she booked an appointment with her GP. 

After undergoing many scans, tests and a colonoscopy, Atkin was diagnosed with bowel cancer and told the cancer cells had also spread to her liver and lymph nodes.

Her condition was terminal and the Liverpool Echo reports she had between 18 months and five years to live.

John Atkin, 42, said his wife "was a light that never goes out" and that she will continue to shine after her death.

He said the pair met in college and were together for 22 years but had known each other for 25 years and had one child together, Maggie. 

John Atkin with late wife, Ros Atkin and daughter Maggie
John Atkin with late wife, Ros Atkin and daughter Maggie Photo credit: Liverpool Echo

He told Liverpool Echo "even though she's not here, we still talk about her, celebrate her and remember her and I don't see that ever changing". 

The loving mum was also described by co-workers as a "well-respected and much-loved teacher who enriched the lives of many children with her caring nature, encouraging all to be the best version of themselves".

The Marie Curie Hospice looked after her in the last year of her life and on March 23 this year her family and friends celebrated her life as a part of the Marie Curie Day of Reflection.

Buildings across Liverpool were lit up in the charities signature yellow, in memory of those who have passed from cancer. 

Her husband said that although the thought of having his wife in a hospice was scary at first, he couldn't be more grateful for the care his late wife received. 

"There was nothing they wouldn't try. That went not just for Ros, but anyone who went in… What I'm most grateful for is the continuation of their support for Maggie and myself," reports the Liverpool Echo.

He also shared that Atkins would have turned 44 on October 11 last year but she ended up passing on the 3rd. The nurses at the hospice knew what was coming and suggested bringing her birthday forward to give her a chance to celebrate with her family. 

"We had a little party, put the telly on, put some music on. Little things like that go far beyond what a normal nurse would do."