A Bromley woman has spoken of her grief after her depressed mother died from "suicide by proxy" having been diagnosed with throat cancer.

Laura Knott, 26, endured three diagnoses within her close family in just a few years, initially as her mum was diagnosed shortly after she learned her aunt had breast cancer in 2014.

A further blow came in February, when her grandfather was also diagnosed with bone, then throat cancer, just days after her mother passed away aged 52 from complications relating to her clinical depression.

Laura said: “My mum was diagnosed with throat cancer about four years ago straight after her sister was diagnosed with breast cancer, so it was a bit of a double whammy.

“My granddad also had bone cancer and then was diagnosed with throat cancer when my mum died in February this year.

“With the cancer, mum couldn’t eat or drink anything, so she isolated herself and had already suffered from lifelong depression.

“She had a peg in her stomach and about a year and a half ago she started going downhill, having seizures and was in and out of hospital quite a lot.

“The doctors told her she had to start putting milkshakes and water in her pegs and look after herself.

“But mum stopped the exercises that would give her the ability to swallow back because it was too much for her.”

Laura’s mum Kate ended up in hospital in February this year as a result of malnutrition and dehydration issues, when medics discovered she had a blot clot on her bowel.

“She was really depressed and really just gave up,” Laura said.

“It was kind of like suicide by proxy.”

Kate had gone through radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatment, much to the surprise of her three children, who knew their mother had battled clinical depression from the age of 17.

“We always knew mum had wanted a way out so we were all very surprised that she had even gone through with the treatment,” Laura admits.

“It was the effects of the radiotherapy that killed her in the end, not really the cancer.

“We knew she was in a lot of pain mentally and physically.

“She got so much worse because she self-diagnosed herself with agoraphobia and said she couldn’t go out.

“For two or three years after her diagnosis she just sat on the sofa and watched TV, day in and day out.

“Once she lost the ability to swallow and that the peg went in, that’s when she started going downhill.

“She didn’t want to see family, she didn’t want to celebrate birthdays or Christmas. She fell into such a deep depression.”

Laura got in touch with the Throat Cancer Foundation, a national charity aiming to raise awareness of cancers that affect the head, chest, mouth and neck, just before her mum died, who recommended she get involved with the charity’s online forum in a bid to get her to open up about her battle.

Her 79-year-old grandfather, who also suffers from depression, has just been given the all clear from throat cancer after successful treatment, and his voice is starting to return.

She is taking part in a skydive to raise funds for the charity.

To donate, visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Laura-Knott2