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Family’s heartbreak after Scots dad’s ‘headache’ diagnosed as terminal cancer

A family left heartbroken after their dad’s ‘crushing headache’ was diagnosed as terminal cancer have begun raising funds for his funeral.

Anthony Lowe, 52, went to the doctor after he began to suddenly develop headaches ‘out of the blue’ at the beginning of this year.

The dad-of-two, from Glenrothes, Fife, was referred for a CT scan and was initially told he may have suffered a stroke or bleed on the brain.

But his family’s lives were shattered in May when doctors at Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy confirmed he had a brain tumour.

Their heartbreak wasn’t over, as a full-body MRI revealed the tumour had metastasized from terminal lung cancer.

Anthony walking daughter Natalie down the aisle.

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His daughter, Natalie Higgins, 30, said: “After 24 hours in Victoria Hospital our lives were turned upside down.

“They confirmed he had a brain tumour, then a full-body MRI confirmed it has spread from his lungs and secondary cancer.”

Anthony began gruelling rounds of chemotherapy at Queen Margaret Hospital in Dunfermline as Natalie – along with her mum Susan, 51, and sister Laura, 32 – struggled to come to terms with his diagnosis.

Natalie said: “It was crushing news. It absolutely shattered our family. Our dad is our world and he’s always been such a tough scaffolder.

“Dad underwent chemotherapy which showed his lung cancer reduced by 30 per cent but his brain tumour unfortunately got bigger as the chemotherapy was not getting through his blood brain barrier to shrink the tumour.”

Anthony then underwent radiotherapy at Western General Hospital in Edinburgh but his condition has deteriorated rapidly since last week.

The family have now begun raising money for a funeral for their beloved dad after he was rushed into hospital on Tuesday.

Medics broke the devastating news that Anthony had developed pneumonia as well as sepsis and did not have long to live.

He has since been moved to Victoria Hospice, with the family by his side and “waiting to say goodbye.”

Natalie added: “We have told him his angels will be waiting.”

Family's heartbreak after Scots dad's 'headache' diagnosed as terminal cancer
Anthony and Susan in happier times on holiday in Kraków.

A fundraiser was initially launched to ensure there were funds to give Anthony and his wife a ‘safety net’ after he failed to qualify for sick pay.

The hard working dad, who had been a scaffolding foreman on Queensferry Crossing from 2012 to 2020, had taken a year off during the pandemic to restore a camper van.

“He had planned to spend retirement in the van with his wife and any grandchildren”, Natalie explains.

In February 2021, Anthony had joined an agency to take on scaffolding work once again and was on a 13-week trial when tragedy struck.

Natalie said: “He went for a scan on the day his trial period ended and was told on his return to bring in his passport and bank details and was getting taken on the books.

Family's heartbreak after Scots dad's 'headache' diagnosed as terminal cancer
Laura with her dad by her side on her wedding day.

“My dad wanted to see his retirement out through this company – instead he missed it by hours as when he got to the Victoria Hospital and got his diagnosis he had to give up working driving. Our worlds went dark.

“He was then not entitled to a penny sick pay or any payout, he is only getting statutory sick pay from government.

She continued: “It added an unbelievable amount of stress, as they were down to my mum’s wage, who works for the NHS in Fife.

“My dad has worked every single day since the age of 16, he even worked off shore when we were young children and left a family behind to provide for us.

“He’s the hardest working man we know.”

Natalie revealed she and her sister were left feeling ‘helpless’ as they poured money into hollistic medicines in a bid desperate bid to save his life.

“It’s been incredibly difficult to accept diagnosis, especially as everything has moved so quick”, she said.

The money raised will now instead go to giving their dad the send off he deserves and a plot at Markinch Cemetery, as well as a holiday for ‘his three girls’.

You can donate to the family’s fundraiser here.

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