Back in March 2021 my fiancée and I had the news that every person fears. I had a small ulcer on my tongue which had not gone away. This resulted in a referral by my dentist to see a consultant in Bridgend Hospital who would then take a biopsy of it. Approximately two weeks after the biopsy was taken, I was called back in, and the consultant gave me the news that it was cancerous. The cancer was stage 1 and although I was reassured that the main aim was to cure me it still hit me and my fiancée hard.
Soon after I had multiple scans to find out if the cancer had spread anywhere else before meeting the consultant to tell me how they would get rid of the cancer. The operation was a lot bigger than we ever imagined. Dr Kittur explained that the operation would mean them removing half of my tongue before reconstructing it using skin from my arm. They would then remove an artery and vein from the arm to connect to my new tongue to make sure it's alive. They would also remove the glands from my neck and take skin grafts from my stomach. They told me that after surgery I would be put into intensive care for a few days and have a tracheostomy to allow me to breathe.
Within 6 weeks of diagnosis, I was in hospital having the operation which lasted 9 hours. The week that followed was the toughest of my life with no visitors allowed due to the pandemic and not being able to talk or eat. After 7 days I was allowed home to start therapy which meant my fiancée doing everything for Me for the next month.
Prior to this ordeal my fiancée and I had been house hunting. We found a house we really liked which meant a bigger mortgage than we had at the time. After applying for the mortgage with the Principality Building Society we were advised that we may need to renew our life insurance to ensure that the new mortgage liability was covered should anything happen in the future. Our Principality Mortgage Advisor, Kelly Lee, was amazing. She helped me and advised me whenever I needed it. She also recommended Vita to us and explained they would help us find the most appropriate life insurance for our needs and for the price we wanted to pay.
We had multiple discussions with our Adviser at Vita (Jordan) who did all the leg work for us, gave us different options, and gave us very important advice. Critical Illness Cover is one of those policies that everybody hopes they never need. Thankfully, we were advised to take this out for each of us. A decision which proved to be a big one! We then took out the policy with Royal London with the assistance of Vita.
After finding out what the operation entailed, my fiancée and I began to file a claim. We contacted Royal London to do this, who then let Vita that we had done so. At the time we were not sure what part Vita would play in the claims process. However, what we can now say is that they were fantastic throughout.
We received contact from Paul Reed from Vita almost immediately. My fiancée spoke with Paul regularly over the next three months. He took all of the stress away and was extremely supportive. In fact, no person could have been more supportive towards us and more amazing over the months that he helped us with the claim.
The claim took longer than imagined - this was at no fault of Vita as they chased an update constantly for us and gave regular updates; unfortunately, there was a delay with the GP sending the relevant paperwork to Royal London.
After return of the medical information and waiting for a claim result, we did receive a call from Paul. My fiancée and I were together at the time. As always Paul was fantastic and eventually gave us the news we had hoped for. We were going to receive the maximum critical care payment. The feeling of relief we both experienced was immense.
Despite it not getting rid of the difficulties we had experienced it gave us so much joy to know that we were financially secure and comfortable. When we thought of life insurance and critical illness cover, we never imagined we would ever have to make a claim of any type.
Previously we have completed it through a comparison site and picked the cheapest one. Had we done this on this occasion we may not have had any payout due to the cancer severity. We certainly wouldn't have received the support we have constantly had from Vita who dealt with the whole claim for us.
We would urge anyone who is about to take out any new life insurance/critical illness policy to contact Vita. Should the unimaginable happen then you will be thankful that you did.
Principality Building Society have also been amazing to us, contacting us directly when they heard the news about Laura's diagnosis to wish us both well.
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Vita is a trading name of Vita Financial Ltd, which is an appointed representative of Capital Protect Ltd, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Their Financial Services Register number is 531444. Registered address: 1st Floor Tudor House, 16 Cathedral Road, Cardiff, CF11 9LJ. Company No. 7266691, registered in England and Wales. The guidance and/or advice contained within this website is subject to the UK regulatory regime, and is therefore targeted at consumers based in the UK. Calls may be monitored/recorded.