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Cancer patient dies after meeting PM

Published:Saturday | February 13, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Minutes before 5 p.m. last Monday, 19-year-old cancer patient Gary Buchanan was granted his last wish - to meet Prime Minister Bruce Golding - while he sat on his hospital bed.

Sadly, close to 1 a.m. yesterday, the teen took his last breath on the very same hospital bed on which he lost the fight with the disease.

In a release from Jamaica House yesterday, Prime Minister Golding said Buchanan had put up a brave fight and up to the end remained optimistic that through prayers, his situation would have changed.

"I extend to his mother and grandmother, who I met at his bedside on Monday, my deepest sympathy," Golding said.

Buchanan's battle with death started in the early months of 2009 when he discovered a lump on his right hand, near his wrist.

In an interview with The Gleaner's sister publication, The STAR, last year, the teen said he initially ignored the bulge because it was not painful at the time. His concern was aroused sometime later, however, when a second swelling developed.

Hand amputated

Buchanan was later diagnosed with cancer. He opted to have his hand amputated in a bid to slow down the spread of the cancer and ultimately, help in his battle against the disease.

However, while the move bought Buchanan some time, it did not extend the same courtesy to his life as at 12:47 a.m. yesterday, he closed his eyes for the last time.

Last week, THE STAR facilitated the visit by Prime Minister Golding. The doctors had said his time was running out.