A chef’s decision to relocate to Macclesfield turned out to be life-saving when his new doctor spotted he had a rare form of cancer.
Oliver Doyle and partner Lindsay Meckie moved to Macclesfield in 2011 shortly after opening Lord of the Pies on Chestergate.
But the decision proved to be more than a wise business move when Dr Mark Bell, based at Cumberland House Surgery, diagnosed Oliver with cancer of the adrenal gland – an illness his previous doctor had put down to hypertension.
Oliver, 37, who underwent 12 hours of surgery to have the tumour removed, said the decision to move to Macclesfield saved his life.
He said: “It was effectively the business that saved my life.
“If we hadn’t moved to Macclesfield they reckon I would have had another year.
“I’d been suffering from this condition for five years and none of the doctors I saw did anything about it.
“As soon as I saw Dr Bell he told me it was going to be a bit of detective work and put me in for all these tests.
“I had an ultrasound the next day and two hours later he called me to say I needed to go in.”
The ultrasound scan revealed a huge tumour, and Oliver was diagnosed with pheochromocytoma, a rare cancer of the adrenal gland tissue.
He added: “It was scary. They said it was the biggest tumour they’d ever seen.
“It was obviously very traumatic and the survival rates were really slim, so it was pretty bad.
“The doctors reckon I wouldn’t have survived much longer if I hadn’t been treated for it.
“I have no doubt that Dr Bell saved my life. I owe him a lot.”
Now, less than a year after an operation, Oliver and Lindsay, who also run a shop in Stockport, are preparing to open a third premises in Chorlton, Manchester.
Oliver, who admitted Lyndsay smuggled in a pie and mash while he was recovering in hospital, said: “I was adamant I wanted to get home and be getting back to work. I just cracked on and every day did a little bit of a walk and kept eating good food.
“We wanted to do Chorlton because we’d been set back for so long that we wanted to come out fighting.
“It’s been a tough build coming out not fully fit, but it’ll be a massive achievement when we open it because of everything that’s happened.”
The new site is set to open this spring and craft beer and real ale from Bollington breweries will also be served if a
licence application is approved.
If all goes to plan, it will be the first of many more sites to come.
“Our main goal is to get in to Manchester city centre,” said Oliver.
“That’s where we’re aiming for, we’re just making a few pitstops and gathering some firepower along the way.”