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Family pays tribute to Old Catton man who showed “amazing fighting spirit”

PUBLISHED: 11:52 09 September 2011

John Leamon

John Leamon

A father of two who died from lung cancer, despite “never having picked up a cigarette in his life”, has today been described as an “all round good guy” with “amazing fighting spirit” by his proud family.

John Leamon, 57, from Old Catton, died at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital just over a year after being diagnosed with stage four cancer of the lung which had spread to the brain, spine and hip.

Mr Leamon’s diagnosis, in July last year, came as a bolt out of the blue to Mr Leamon and his family, including wife Lorraine, 58.

Mark, 24, said: “It was a massive shock for my family. The funny thing is he had never picked up a cigarette in his life which is unfortunate.

“I’m just so proud and impressed by the way he fought the illness; he never once moaned. He said: ‘This is the way it is, we’ve got to fight it.’”

Mr Leamon, an engineering manager at Salhouse Road-based United Closures and Plastics, which produces plastic bottle caps, where he had worked for 41 years, was diagnosed with cancer after suffering a seizure at home.

He was taken for a CT scan of his head in hospital during which he suffered another seizure, which was so powerful he shattered his hip.

Further scans revealed the extent of his cancer. Mr Leamon was given treatment for the disease but as it was so advanced was not given much hope of surviving until Christmas.

Mark, a pharmacist at the NNUH, said: “He had an amazing fighting spirit.

“The doctor said he would probably never walk again. He went home in a wheelchair and said he was going to prove them wrong.”

Mr Leamon’s positive attitude and fitness defied someone suffering from cancer, but in May the weakness in his legs returned as cancer on his spine spread, eventually rendering him paralysed from the waist down.

His death on August 20 means he will not now see daughter Sarah, 28, a human resources manager, get married next year.

Mark said: “My dad would’ve played a massive part in that and it’s heartbreaking that he won’t be able to see my sister get married.”


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