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Cancer-hit publishing boss fears Covid may delay life-saving surgery

Richard ParkinsonA regional publishing boss has shared fears his life-saving cancer surgery may not go ahead unless others “make the right choices” over Christmas.

Iliffe Media group development director Richard Parkinson has announced he has been diagnosed with the illness and is due to undergo treatment next month.

Richard, pictured, has now called on people to “be considerate” to those in a similar situation to him amid concerns over hospitals being unable to treat other illnesses if the Omicron strain of Covid-19 causes too many admissions.

He has also thanked friends and colleagues for their support after revealing his diagnosis on Tuesday.

Posting on Twitter, Richard wrote: “Eleven weeks ago I was diagnosed with cancer.

“Do I want to see the country plunged into further restrictive measures over Christmas? No.

“But do I want my life-saving surgery to go ahead in January as scheduled? Yes.

“Please make the right choices.”

Richard previously held a number of managing director roles across Johnston Press between 2003 and 2016.

The following year he joined Iliffe as its managing director for the Midlands, before moving to his current role in 2019.

Speaking to HTFP, he said: “Friends and colleagues have been extremely supportive, and the NHS has been brilliant, despite the massive pressure I can see it’s under.

“Regardless of any opinions about the government’s handling of this pandemic, our individual choices and actions make a difference.

“I think we owe it to each other to be considerate.”

Regional journalists past and present have been among those to send their support to Richard since his announcement.

Derbyshire Times senior journalist Michael Broomhead wrote on Twitter: “I am very sorry to read this, Richard. I wish you all the very best.”

And retired Bury Free Press reporter John Henderson added: “Hope you get the surgery you need, Richard.

“Thoughts are with you and your family at such a difficult time.”

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