THE wife of a 36-year-old Smalley man who died just three months after their wedding says she is struggling to make sense of his death.
Phil Burrows appeared fit and healthy when he wed American Mandy Hansen on July 22.
Eight weeks later, he was taken ill and doctors found an abscess on his bowel.
It was removed but he went on to suffer an inflamed colon.
That caused his health to deteriorate further and, four days after being admitted to hospital, he was diagnosed with leukaemia. Phil became so poorly he died on October 21 – only ten days after his father Colin also died from cancer.
Mandy, 26, said: “I don’t think it will ever make sense to me. He could eat anything. To think he died because his colon gave up on him is just crazy.”
The couple met on a night out while Phil was on a business trip in America.
Recalling the night, in January 2007, Mandy said: “We were laughing and joking at an 80s night and ended up dancing all night. He was so easy to get along with. I knew then he was the one.”
Later that year, Mandy moved to London to begin a one-year placement at the Central School of Speech and Drama and the pair saw each other at weekends.
Mandy said the first signs that Phil was unwell came during their honeymoon in North Wales.
A week before being admitted to hospital, Phil went on a lads’ holiday to Spain. Mandy said: “He came back home and was complaining of pain throughout the week. It got to the point he couldn’t sleep because it was so bad. He went to hospital and it all went downhill.”
Mandy said her husband’s death had devastated his many friends, who she said called him The Cat because of his reflexes as a goalkeeper.
She also recalled his sense of adventure and described him as a “wonderful” husband. She added: “He had a way of making me laugh whenever I was unhappy. He made an impact on everyone he met.” Her mother, Pam, said: “We loved him. He charmed the family.”