Grandma disfigured following cancer happy again after finding love

Andrea McNicholas with husband Corrie Hollingsworth
Andrea McNicholas with husband Corrie Hollingsworth

A Wigan grandmother who was left with severe facial disfigurement following an aggressive cancer has found confidence once again thanks to her new husband.

Andrea McNicholas, of New Springs, lost her nose and teeth in 2011 after a late diagnosis and admits she spends most her life indoors as it has dramatically altered her looks.

I never thought I would be happy like this. Corrie makes me feel good about myself. He does not judge me and look at me in that way. He says he loves me for what is on the inside

But determined not to lose her faith in love the 50-year-old joined dating website Oasis in 2014. She shared a picture of what she looked like before the cancer and explained what had happened - with more recent photos.

After five weeks she met 44-year-old Corrie Hollingsworth and later that year they got engaged. They married at Village on the Green, in Aspull, on May 14.

Andrea, a mother-of-three, with seven grandchildren, said: “I was stuck in my house on my own 24/7 and I decided to set up a profile and go for it. I had been online on and off since my ex-husband walked out on me in 2009 but I came off when I was ill.

“I got talking to Corrie and after a day we met up. I went to his apartment in Ashton and we just talked. We got on really well and the conversation flowed.”

It was a chance walk past a jewellers that prompted the pair to get engaged in October 2014.

The former college kitchen supervisor added: “We were just walking past Beaverbrooks and I saw a ring I liked. We ordered it straight away and we were engaged.

“It was a spur of the moment thing but we had talked about getting married.”

After almost a month of being Mrs Hollingsworth, Andrea couldn’t be happier.

She said: “I never thought I would be happy like this. Corrie makes me feel good about myself. He does not judge me and look at me in that way.

“He says he loves me for what is on the inside. I don’t think I will ever get my full confidence back, but Corrie has certainly helped.

“I feel more positive about my future as I am more settled. Things will never be the same again but I am happy. I would tell others who have low self esteem and don’t think they will find love again - never say never.”

Andrea is now looking forward to moving into a new bungalow in Whelley with Corrie, who is a fabricator and welder, later this month.

Earlier this year, Andrea was awarded a six figure sum from Wrightington Wigan and Leigh (WWL) NHS Foundation Trust as it accepted full responsibility for the delay in diagnosis, which resulted in her losing her nose and teeth.

In June 2010 she raised concerns about a small hole in her mouth which was not healing and she also had a lump in her neck. She had an MRI scan and the radiographer told her a tumour was growing and she was to be referred to a facial surgeon.

However, this was not reported back to Andrea or her doctor and she was just given antibiotics. She later underwent a 20-hour operation where her nose and part of her jaw were removed.

In a statement, WWL NHS Foundation Trust said: “The Trust deeply regrets the shortcomings identified in the care provided and accepted full responsibility for the delay in diagnosis of cancer and expressed its unreserved apologies to Ms McNicholas.”