Roger Mollison, a 66-year-old native of Scotland, spent three years on chemotherapy before finding out he received a false positive lung cancer diagnosis. Doctors at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee told Mollison to prepare for the final nine months of his life after diagnostic testing revealed a deadly case of mesothelioma caused by asbestos he was exposed to as an insulation engineer.
“We are hugely relieved Roger is not desperately ill but devastated about what we all went through. Surely these hospital tests should always be checked and rechecked,” Mollison’s wife Liz told the Daily Mail.
Ninewells personnel made the diagnosis after Mollison admitted to suffering from breathing complications for a couple of years prior to his hospital visit. Following a biopsy, he was given the terminal diagnosis of mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer that affects upward of 2,000 people each year in the UK. Out of the 2,000 people diagnosed with mesothelioma in the UK each year, 1,800 do not make it past their first 12 months.
Upon receiving his misdiagnosis, Mollison quit his job of six years at a local hospital to prepare for chemotherapy treatments in hopes of beating his suspected condition. He also began spending as much time as we could with his two children and seven grandchildren. Certain aspects of his impending fate he was able to accept. However, he could not accept missing his son’s upcoming wedding.
To the surprise and delight of both he and his family, Mollison made it to his son’s wedding ceremony. Not only that, but he was also able to witness the birth of two more grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Palliative care nurses who stood by to help him with the steps he needed to take after his diagnosis were stunned by his progress. It wasn’t until he received a second opinion in accord with a claim he was filing against his former employer to receive compensation that he learned that he was not suffering from mesothelioma but rather a non-life-threatening asbestos-related illness.
“I've spent almost three years fearing I'd die any time and my family have suffered horribly,” Mollison explained. “I prepared to not be around for much longer. And I went through the awful feelings that go with that. Then I was shocked to the core when they told me the original lab results were wrong and I'm still trying to come to terms with it. It is wonderful to know that I am not dying but I have lost all confidence in doctors and don't know if I ever will regain it.”