A TERMINALLY-ILL woman who hoped to make a charity parachute jump is too sick to carry out her wish...but a good Samaritan has come forward to take her place.

Catherine Watkins, 55, of Rutland Avenue, Southend, has been told she is dying of pancreatic cancer after doctors missed more than 20 chances to diagnose her condition.

She hoped to use her remaining weeks to raise awareness of getting medical help as soon as people suspect they may have something wrong and to raise money for pancreatic cancer research.

In recent days Mrs Watkins, who is in Southend Hospital, has been told by her doctors she is too frail to make the jump, but John Jordon, who is also undergoing treatment for pancreatic cancer, contacted the family and offered to make the jump on her behalf.

Mr Jordan, 60, who works for Formula 1 Autocentres, lives in Enfield, but spent most of his life in Southend and Leigh.

He said: “I saw Catherine’s story in the paper and really felt for her, as I had a similar experence. I just wanted to help her.

“I met her and her husband, Bob, at the weekend. They are lovely people. We had a lovely chat because we had a similar history, although poor Catherine is in a bad way.

“They should have picked up on it a long time ago.

“Catherine and her family are the salt of the earth and it’s a pleasure to be able to do this for them.”

Like Mrs Watkins, who has a son, two daughters and a 15-year-old foster son, doctors missed Mr Jordan’s condition.

He is also keen to encourage people who feel they are unwell to pester medics until they get the help they need.

He said: “My GP didn’t want to know. It started with a pain in my back but he kept fobbing me off. I diagnosed myself after going to the library.

“When I was eventually diagnosed, they said it was operable and then said it wasn’t. I am now having chemotherapy.”

To contribute to the fundraising jump, visit www.justgiving.com/ catherinewatkins