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Wilko Johnson owes his life to surgeon fan

Wilko Johnson has a fan to thank for his cancer recovery.

The rocker declared himself "cured" of pancreatic cancer at Britain's Q Awards last Wednesday (22Oct14), 21 months after he was given just months to live in January last year (13).


He had a tumour removed during an operation in April (14), as well as his spleen, pancreas and parts of his intestines.


He has now been given the all clear, and it appears his health comeback is all thanks to a fan's hunch.


Surgeon and photographer Charlie Chan went to see Johnson live on what was supposed to be his farewell tour last year (13) and was so convinced doctors' pancreatic cancer diagnosis was wrong, he felt compelled to get in touch with his hero and suggest a new course of action.


Chan tells Britain's Gloucestershire Echo newspaper he met Johnson just months after he announced his health crisis to the world and then attended a gig in October, 2013: "Wilko was playing at the KoKo club in Camden and he was looking much better than he had done in July and he'd released an album with Roger Daltrey and I thought, 'What's going on?' I thought that he couldn't have what he thought he did.


"I spoke to some pancreatic experts I know, including Emmanuel Huguet who works at Addenbrooke's hospital in Cambridge. I went back to see Wilko at his home and examined him for three hours and read the background and I just couldn't believe that the diagnosis was right. I asked him if he'd go and see Emmanuel."


Dr. Huguet operated successfully on Wilko in April (14).


Chan adds, "Now Wilko is saying he's cancer-free and that's wonderful. He's planning to get back to recording another album and playing with his band again. And I think he's quite likely to be looking at a normal life expectancy.


"It's a great bonus that tens and hundreds of thousands of music fans will be able to enjoy more of his music, but the important thing is that he'll be around for his family, he has two sons and a three-year-old grandson. I'm just pleased I could help him. As a doctor it's important to do the right thing."