Natalie Hickton's Story
In June 2015, aged just 32, Natalie Hickton was given the devastating news that she had cervical cancer. Within a few months, Natalie had undergone two operations.
“Just a few years before my diagnosis, my only option would have been a complete hysterectomy,” she says. “But, thanks to the amazing research and technology at The Royal Marsden, I was able to avoid having this procedure. Importantly, for me and my husband, this meant we could still try for children and I am now lucky to have two beautiful boys: Oliver and Joshua.
The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity has funded the two da Vinci Xi robots, one through a generous gift from the late philanthropist Don McCarthy and his children. Thanks to our supporters, The Royal Marsden has become the most comprehensive centre for robotic cancer surgery in the UK, ensuring patients have access to the latest techniques and treatments.
Using the da Vinci surgical robot’s 3D magnification, surgeons were able to see Natalie’s cancer in much closer detail. They were able to use the da Vinci’s Firefly technology. This involved injecting a fluorescent green dye that ‘lights up’ the lymph glands nearest to the cervix – which could be at risk of metastasis – on the da Vinci’s monitor.
Natalie was discharged one night after her operation and given the all-clear just four months after her diagnosis.
Three years on, Natalie completed the Blenheim Palace Triathlon, raising money for The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity. She said: “I was determined to do it to give something back.
“I will be forever grateful.”