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Saturday, 29 July, 2000, 02:09 GMT 03:09 UK
Net 'saves cancer victim's life'
The cancer victim was not able to undergo surgery in Britain
A British cancer victim given just months to live is recovering in hospital after surfing the internet to find a US surgeon willing to perform a life-saving operation.

Graham Tarling, 45, was told by a cancer specialist in Birmingham he had between six and 12 months to live and was told surgery was too dangerous.

Mr Tarling, from Eaton, near Leominster in Herefordshire, decided to conduct a search via the internet after being told his 15-inch kidney tumour was untreatable.

After two weeks of surfing the web on his teenage daughter's computer, he found a Californian kidney cancer expert who put him in touch with a surgeon able to perform the operation.

Surgeon Dr Andrew Novick asked Mr Tarling to send through his medical records and then e-mailed him back inviting him for a week of tests in Ohio.

After Mr Tarling returned home to try and raise funds for the operation, the NHS reportedly agreed to cover the cost of the surgery - said to be between 30,000 and 50,000.

Tumour removed

Mr Tarling flew back to America earlier this month and three days later underwent a 13-hour operation to remove the tumour and the kidney.

Although the operation was a success, Mr Tarling remained in a critical condition for several days as his heart struggled to retain a normal beat.

A former Bristol City youth goalkeeper, he has now been told by doctors he could be playing football again by September.

He still needs to have chemotherapy and must go back to Ohio for two further check-ups.

But Mr Tarling said: "The internet saved my life. I was just so determined to try to do something to help myself.

"I was 45 and with three children, I just didn't think it was right I was going to die."

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28 Jul 00 | NHS reform
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