Brave terminally ill bride's battle comes to a tragic end
Just days after tying the knot with her husband, Ashleigh Simrajh has died after her long-fought battle with cancer.
The 23-year-old’s husband Jason has paid tribute to his bride with an emotional post just days after he had the opportunity to wed her in a powerful ceremony.
Ashleigh died from malignant melanoma and was told in early September she had only days to live after being diagnosed in 2019.
She was granted one last wish to marry Jason before the disease claimed her life, and on September 5 the brave terminally ill bride “fought like a superstar” and said “I do” in front of 50 close friends and family at Sea World Resort on the Gold Coast.
Jason paid tribute to the 23-year-old after her battle with cancer came to a tragic end.
“Words cannot describe the pain I’m feeling right now, I’m absolutely devastated and my heart is completely shattered,” he wrote on Facebook Tuesday morning.
“You were so brave and strong and I know that you tried your absolute best fighting this battle, you couldn’t have tried any harder than you did.
“I’m so proud of you babe.”
Jason described his new wife as the “most beautiful woman” and said he always held out “so much hope” that she would get better again”.
He also talked about the couple’s dream to have kids would never be fulfilled.
“We had so much planned out! We pictured having kids, cute kids too! (Only because of your gorgeous looks, not mine haha), travelling the world and most importantly growing old together,” he said.
“I think growing old with you was something I wanted to do the most. Not much else mattered to me than to just be there with you for my whole life.”
In the lengthy post, Jason also described feeling “completely empty inside” without Ashleigh adding it “doesn’t feel real” she was gone and that he had been “ripped apart” by her loss.
“I really don’t know what I’m going to do without you now. I’m so lost and feel completely empty inside,” he wrote.
“It doesn’t even feel real to me that you’re gone, it just feels like I’m in this horrible dream which I can’t escape.”
Ashleigh’s father, Tony Simrajh, shared an update to the family’s Go Fund Me page just a week before she died, saying his daughter was at home with a dedicated nurse.
“Ashleigh does not want to go back into hospital and we as a family are going to make sure that she remains at home surrounded by the people who love her,” he said.
“Ashleigh is still fighting so hard and she is still defying what the doctors have told her. Again this morning we got told to brace for the worst as she only had a few hours left which devastated us all, but she has rallied and is looking good again at the moment.”
“Our Ashleigh is a fighter and is fighting as hard as she can to stay here with us.”
The 23-year-old was diagnosed with malignant melanoma over a year after she was told the lump on her leg was not suspicious.
Ashleigh was just 20-years-old when she spotted a lump on her leg and after it became painful and started bleeding, she knew something wasn’t right.
However, she was told the lump was nothing more than a “wart” and was sent to a surgeon without taking a biopsy.
It was when she knocked it and it began to bleed that she decided to visit another doctor who performed a biopsy and informed her it was cancer.
The cancer then spread to her lungs, liver and chest.
Ashleigh’s family have since launched legal action against two practitioners.
Her father Tony Simrajh told Daily Mail Australia that the legal case is not about money, but is actually about the doctors “owning up to their errors and taking responsibility”.
“Ash weighs 34 kilograms now and is skin and bones. She is under palliative care and struggles for every single breath,” Mr Simrajh said before his daughter’s passing.
He described his daughter as “amazing” and someone who deserved better than the challenges she had.
“She is on a mission to get her story out there for young people to get checked but also to get another doctor to have a look at it if you are still not sure,” the heartbroken father said on a GoFundMe page set up for Ashleigh.
“That would have saved her life if she did.”
Mr Simrajh’s said that Ashleigh’s wedding was the happiest and saddest day of his life.
“To see her so fragile on what should have been her happiest day was heartbreaking but yet seeing the love that was in the room for her was very inspirational,” he said.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison sent her a letter in late August thanking her for her efforts in reminding Australians about the dangers of skin cancer.
“I know these are poignant days for you: a wedding time with the family and friends and reflections on what was. Even Prime Minister’s can’t fathom why such things happen in life.
“But I do know you will be surrounded by love – and I hope the joy of your wedding day surpasses your dreams,” the Prime Minister said.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk had also heard about Ashleigh’s story and called her ahead of her wedding to send flowers and her will wishes.
She gave Ashleigh her mobile number to send wedding pictures and to reach out to her if she needed anything.
“Ashleigh’s message is making it to so many people, she is saving lives,” her father said on the GoFundMe page.
They set up the GoFundMe page to share Ashleigh’s story and spread her message, and say they have received an overwhelming amount of support.
“Please share this link not just for the donations but so everyone sees her story and help her spread the message to everyone re medical checks,” her father wrote.
“So let’s spread Ashleigh’s story it may save someone’s life.”
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