A heartbroken mum has paid tribute to her “soulmate” after his death from cancer just three weeks after being diagnosed.
Ryan Greenan, 35, died on Monday after suffering from oesophageal cancer.
He had previously complained about food becoming stuck in his throat but the diagnosis only came after Ryan collapsed twice at work with support service Mochridhe on December 27.
Ryan, who moved to Douglas from Edinburgh, received the devastating news the following day.
Despite being told he had months to live, he succumbed just weeks later.
Grieving fiancee Natasha Robertson said Ryan was the love of her life and now wants to raise more awareness of oesophageal cancer in younger people.
She said: “In September he was feeling that food was getting stuck in his throat.
“I took him to see a GP in Edinburgh where he was still registered and they said because he was only 35 it was probably just reflux but he was anxious.
“He had a family history of cancer in the throat, his mum and nana both died of it in the last few years. Ryan went from 12 and a half stone to 10 stone in a couple of weeks.
“He transferred to Whitfield Medical Centre because he was anaemic, but there was nothing suspicious.
“On December 27 he went to work and collapsed.
“Ryan collapsed again and he was taken to hospital, he was in and out of consciousness. On December 28 he had a scope done which found the tumour in his oesophagus.”
Doctors found the disease had spread to his lungs and liver, meaning Ryan could not undergo chemotherapy.
He received treatment at Roxburghe House and later proposed to Natasha, his partner of just eight months.
Oesophageal cancer is thought to be the 14th most common form of cancer with almost 9,000 people diagnosed each year in the UK.
According to Cancer Research UK, eight in 10 cases of oesophageal cancer develop in people aged 60 and over.
But Natasha, 35, said she is now determined to debunk the myth the illness only affects older people and hopes that people of all ages will be encouraged to get tested if they have concerns.
She added: “He deteriorated very quickly. Those three weeks were absolutely horrific, it just happened so quick but he fought it all the way.
“I just feel like there needs to be more awareness about this illness in young people.
“Oesophageal cancer is still seen as an old man’s disease but it’s not, anybody can get it.
“If there’s something bothering you then you need to keep raising it because quite often with cancers like that it can be diagnosed before it’s too late.
“Ryan might still have been here today if they had caught it in September.”
A JustGiving page was set up prior to Ryan’s death, with almost £800 raised to help with the cost of his funeral, and some money put towards his daughters, aged 11 and eight. Natasha is also organising a prize bingo on Wednesday and a fundraising night on February 15, at The Tavern in Whitfield.
Natasha added: “The support we’ve had has been unbelievable and hopefully it will go some way towards his daughters.
“Ryan was my soulmate. We were together for eight months and he just made me so happy during such a short time.”