'A family man with a heart of gold': Tributes to devoted Cleveleys dad Chris after he dies following oesophageal cancer battle

A dad who has died aged 38 following a three-year battle with oesophageal cancer has been remembered as a "beautiful human being."

Tuesday, 20th April 2021, 3:45 pm
Updated Tuesday, 20th April 2021, 4:52 pm

Chris Peachey faced a gruelling battle with oesophageal cancer over the last three years, before he died surrounded by his wife Lisa, mum Elly and sister Rachel at Trinity Hospice on Friday.

The brave former Sainsbury's manager and avid Blackpool FC fan, of Clegg Avenue, fought off bouts of sepsis, pneumonia, and four cancer diagnoses before doctors determined his illness was terminal and he had "months left to live" two weeks ago.

Dad to Daisy, 11, Oscar, one, and step-dad to Leah, 18, Chris was "completely devoted" to his wife and children, and his loved ones have remembered him as a "true family man with a heart of solid gold."

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Chris Peachey, 38, has died following a three-year battle with oesophageal cancer. He is pictured with wife Lisa, son Oscar, step-daughter Leah and daughter Daisy. Photo: Lisa Peachey

The disease took his ability to speak after undergoing the removal of his voice box and a full neck dissection in a bid to stop the spread of the cancer.

Before his voice was lost, Chris married wife Lisa, 36, who he met six years ago, in a special ceremony at The Villa in Wrea Green in October 2020 so she could hear him say his vows.

The couple communicated via lip-reading after the operation, and when he presented her with an eternity ring from his hospice bed just hours before he died, she was able to see him declare: "This binds us together for eternity, Lisa."

"Chris was just the most beautiful human being, and there will never be anybody as special as him," Lisa said.

Chris Peachey and his family on his wedding day in 2020. Photo: Lisa Peachey

"He deteriorated quickly, so last Sunday he went to stay in the hospice. I stayed with him the whole time, I brought our quilts from home so we could be under the same one.

"We were told on the Tuesday they thought he only had a few days left. It was just absolutely harrowing, but Trinity were angels. I couldn't have managed without them in the last few days.

"The day before he died, it was the first warm day we'd had and Chris was able to go outside. He'd been in bed for five months, and he looked so peaceful.

"He bought me an eternity ring, a necklace for the girls and a bracelet for our son Oscar for his 18th.

Chris and his family. Photo: Lisa Peachey

"That's just the type of person he was, he was still thinking about us even then. He was so loving, everything he ever did was for me and the kids.

"He struggled with heartburn most of his life, which is a common thing and people might not think it could be more serious.

"I want this to be about awareness, Chris was so young and this cancer is actually really common. Unfortunately one of the biggest symptoms, food being stuck in the throat, means it's already gone too far.

"Chris had time for everybody, he was just such a wonderful human being and he was so loved.

"He will leave a big hole in so many peoples' lives."

Chris moved to Bispham from Torquay in year eight of high school, and met his best friends Jordan Hayes and Andy Moore when he began attending Montgomery Academy.

Jordan, 37, from Cleveleys, said Chris had been by his side ever since, and described his friend as "solid gold."

"Chris was very loyal, so funny, and a loving family man. His kids and his wife meant the world to him," Jordan said.

"There's not one person who would ever have a bad word to say about him.

"We worked at the Norbreck Castle together when we were younger, we played football for Poulton Youth together, and we went to all the Blackpool games - he's been by my side for so long.

"He was a massive Blackpool fan, and he still had a season ticket even though he couldn't get to games anymore.

"He spoke so much sense. He was a family man but at the same time you could put him in the pub with the lads and he could be quite laddish, he knew when to be silly and when to be sensible.

"Everyone loved him so much, and we've all promised him we'll look after Lisa and the kids. I'm just going to miss him."

Andy, 37, added: "Chris was my best friend and the most genuinely nice person you could meet.

"He was a dedicated father and husband, a proper family man with superb morals.

"He had a fantastic sense of humour, and would do anything for the people closest to him. Not one person I know didn't like him, he was just a wonderful human being.

"Sleep well my mate, love you. UTP."

Blackpool Tower lit up in Blackpool FC's tangerine colours for Chris last night, to bring awareness to oesophageal cancer and for the resort to come together to mourn the loss of their friend.

Lisa thanked everyone who had supported her following the loss of her husband, including Trinity Hospice and Glazey Days in Fleetwood - which came to the hospice in short notice to cast the couple's hands together.

Chris leaves behind wife Lisa, daughter Daisy, son Oscar and step-daughter Leah.

A JustGiving page was set up after Chris received his terminal diagnosis, in a bid to raise money for alternative therapies for him.

The page is now raising money to support his family after his death.

Signs and symptoms of oesophageal cancer:

The oesophagus connects your mouth to your stomach.

There are many possible symptoms of oesophageal cancer, but they might be difficult to spot. Some may include:

> having problems swallowing (dysphagia)

> feeling or being sick

> heartburn or acid reflux

> symptoms of indigestion

> a cough that is not getting better

> a hoarse voice

> loss of appetite or losing weight without trying to

> feeling tired or having no energy

> pain in your throat or the middle of your chest, especially when swallowing

If you have another condition, such as gastro-oesophageal reflux disease, you may get symptoms like these regularly, according to the NHS.