A Glasgow dad thinks his daughter’s sudden death triggered his wife's cancer.

Stephen Carmichael, 58, was devastated after Petula, 57, was diagnosed with breast cancer one month after they buried their daughter Lexi.

The 21-year-old had suffered mental health problems and went missing in December 2019 before her body was sadly found in the River Clyde in January 2020.

Glasgow Times: Lexi was only 21-years-old when she diedLexi was only 21-years-old when she died (Image: Newsquest)

Soon after her mother Petula, who was a NHS nurse, discovered a lump and doctors confirmed she had breast cancer along with terminal liver disease.

Stephen, from King's Park, believes the stress of losing Lexi caused his wife's cancer as she had no previous symptoms.

Now three years later Petula is cancer free but still battles liver disease, although she has defied doctors who said she only had two and a half years to live.

Glasgow Times:

He told the Glasgow Times: “My wife really means a lot to me, we have been married for 37 years so finding all this out has been really hard for us to face.

“We were absolutely shocked to find out she had cancer because she didn’t seem to have any other symptoms at all, and it happened just after we buried Lexi.

“I believe the stress of it all is partly what brought the cancer on suddenly.

“Lexi was just 21-years-old, she was very anxious and losing her was very difficult for us.

“Our family was very close. We used to go on holidays and spend a lot of time together. We miss her.

“Radiotherapy helped Petula become cancer free but her liver disease is still terminal.”

Glasgow Times:

Stephen was sadly left suicidal after losing his daughter and finding out his wife was terminally ill.

He also suffered a heart attack in November 2021 at the gym while Petula was in hospital for surgery to treat her breast cancer.

This left him requiring a stent to be fitted triggering his recovery process which inspired him to become fit and active.

Glasgow Times:

Stephen explained: “I ended up feeling suicidal after losing our daughter and then my wife’s diagnosis, I was so down and depressed it was very hard.

“I also had a heart attack when I was doing my training on the treadmill and felt chest pains.

“At first I didn't think anything of it, I thought it was a muscular issue but my GP sent me to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital.

“They were shocked I drove there myself and I was kept in.

“I made a recovery and have been doing well since, it motivated me to keep fit and have been doing lots of exercise and hillwalking.”

Glasgow Times: Stephen and Petula rely on the Prince & Princess of Wales Hospice for supportStephen and Petula rely on the Prince & Princess of Wales Hospice for support (Image: Newsquest)

Stephen also attended Prince & Princess of Wales Hospice which helped him tackle his mental health problems.

He volunteers for the charity after giving up his job as a postman to look after Petula, who along with her liver disease also tackles arthritis that leaves her struggling with her mobility.

Now Stephen is determined to support the charity that helped his family by fundraising and climbing Ben Nevis on Saturday, August 19.

He said: “I started to attend the Prince & Princess of Wales Hospice which really turned my life around.

“They have art classes and meditation sessions which are great, plus there's lots of people there going through hard things so we can talk to each other.

“I used to be really reserved and not speak a lot and listen to others but since attending the hospice I'm much more outgoing and social.

“I want to give them something back for the hard work they do because it really makes a difference to people like me and my family.

“I am partially sighted, diabetic, recovering from a heart attack and am trekking Ben Nevis at night in aid for this charity.”

Stephen’s goal is £2000 which you can donate to by clicking here.

If you are struggling and need someone to talk to, you are not alone.

Here are helpline numbers for anyone seeking help: Samaritans: Call 116 123.

Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM): Call 0800 58 58 58.

Childline: Call 0800 1111.

You can also text Shout to 85258 for 24-hour support in a crisis.