MEGAN Mackney had held her husband, Ted, in her arms until he cried himself to sleep.

She had cried herself dry too. But now, in the half-light of the hospital ward, she knew she had to do something.

The couple had just been given the devastating news that the cancer that Ted had been battling for two years could not be treated on the NHS.

Ted, 58, from Tiptoe in the New Forest, had been fighting Hodgkin’s Lymphoma since Autumn 2015. He had suffered various knock-backs along the way but the couple had remained hopeful that the right treatment would be found.

But suddenly, they felt hopeless.

“He was in hospital for an infection and a different oncologist came to see him,” says Megan.

“He said that was that – there was nothing more they could do.”

Megan visibly still reels from the shock she felt at the time.

“But then he said, ‘I suppose you’ve heard of Nivolumab’.

“He said Ted wasn’t eligible for it on the NHS and that it cost around £4,000 per dose.

“We just hung onto each other and cried. Eventually, Ted fell asleep and I dozed a bit in the chair by his bed.

“Then I sat up and thought ‘I’m not having this’. I went online and set up a fundraising page on Go Fund Me right there.”

Megan is reaching out to friends, family and strangers to donate to help give Ted the best chance he has of beating cancer.

Her initial target is to raise £98,000, to cover the cost of the treatment for a year.

“Ted’s oncologist has said that if we can get him into any remission, they can go ahead with a donor stem cell transplant.

“It’s a risky operation and the odds of success are 50/50, but it’s the best chance we have. It’s his last chance to beat cancer.”

Megan and Ted have been together for 15 years, married for 11 years, and have four children and one grandchild between them.

“We feel so lucky to have found each other in our 40s and desperately want to continue what we do together, but Ted’s cancer appears to have other ideas,” says Megan.

Before Ted became ill, he and Megan worked in care homes providing music therapy workshops for senior citizens and those suffering from dementia – work he is desperate to get back to.

Ted became ill two and a half years ago, with flu-like symptoms and night sweats.

He was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and began chemotherapy in January 2016.

“We were told that it’s a very curable cancer and people have been beating it for more than 40 years,” says Megan.

“We were obviously very upset, but we’re very positive people, and we weren’t as upset as we could have been.”

At the end of six months, Ted was in remission, and the couple had a blissful holiday on the Isle of Wight. But after eight weeks, his symptoms returned, and the couple knew the cancer had returned.

“We were devastated,” says Megan.

Ted began another round of treatment, but despite various treatments being tried, he has not gone into remission again.

Tests revealed that his Hodgkin’s Lymphoma was refractory, a rare and more difficult to beat variation.

The aim of treatment was to get Ted into remission so that he could have a stem cell transplant, from his sister Lesley. Nivolumab is now Ted’s best chance of that happening.

“Our oncologist and Macmillan nurse are very upset that Ted isn’t eligible for funding for the treatment on the NHS,” says Megan.

“This is our only chance to get him into remission.

“We’ve raised over £14,000 so far. We have some very generous friends and Ted’s son organised a fundraising gig. I have a very small pension and it isn’t enough to pay for the treatment.”

Ted is in a lot of pain. Treatment has worsened an underlying condition, peripheral neuropathy, meaning it is often painful for him to just put his feet on the floor. He is also exhausted, and sleeps a lot.

On some days, Ted isn’t well enough to get out of bed, but the couple get out when they can.

If it’s nice, they often drive down to look at the sea in a camper van, specially adapted to be comfortable for Ted.

They also love having their little granddaughter to visit.

The couple remain hopeful that they will raise the money needed and that Ted will be cured.

“Otherwise, we might as well give up,” says Megan.

“We live in the moment. We try not to think about what has happened or what will happen.

“Ted is the strongest and kindest person I’ve ever met,” adds Megan.

“He’s my second husband and I thank the gods that brought us together.”

Ted adds that the couple have to be positive.

“We have to be hopeful; there is no other choice.

“It’s not a laudable position to be hopeful – it’s the only thing we can do.”