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Fitness & Health

28th Aug 2022

Dad dies after brain tumour misdiagnosed as sleep apnoea

Kieran Galpin

Brain Tumour Research

In just two months, James went to the hospital eight times

A man who was misdiagnosed with sleep apnoea died just weeks later in what turned out to be a brain tumour.

Widow Myriam Lamerton has spoken out after her husband James died in November 2021, just five weeks after being diagnosed with a brain tumour in his pineal gland, which was later designated a Grade 4 glioblastoma.

According to ITV, who spoke to the 32-year-old about losing her husband, James had been experiencing tiredness “for a while” which the couple thought was the stress of having a newborn.

“When he started waking up regularly in the night to go to the toilet, I thought that was odd and encouraged him to go to the doctor to get checked out for prostate cancer, which is something his father had had,” she told the news outlet. “Those tests came back clear and so in July we went on holiday to Tenerife but he started suffering from headaches and dizziness.”

James was subsequently referred to a sleep clinic where they said he was suffering from sleep apnoea which caused his dizziness and persistent headaches.

“But between August and mid-October I took him to the doctor eight times,” his wife added.

After returning home from work, where he nearly collapsed, James spent seven days in bed with his wife insisting he go to the hospital.

“But, in truth, I know it wouldn’t have changed anything,” Myriam said.

James then went days without eating and would vomit and scream about pain behind his eye.

After getting an MRI, doctors found the tumour, and he underwent surgery to remove it. sadly, James later died due to post-operation issues.

Brain Tumour Research

“I held James’ hand as he took his last breath and his heart stopped. He died peacefully, which was kind of beautiful in a way,” his wife recalled.

Myriam is now working with Brain Tumour Research where she hopes to spread awareness.

“We need to change people’s perceptions of brain tumours and for me that means changing the narrative to make people realise that this could also happen to them and the people they know and love. We have to do more,” she explained.

Charlie Allsebrook from the charity also said: “While incredibly heart-breaking, James’ story is not unique; the pain his family are going through is, sadly, something we see time and time again.

“We’re trying to change that but it’s only by working together that we will be able to improve treatment option for patients and, ultimately, find a cure.

“We just hope that people sit up and pay attention because brain tumours are indiscriminate and could strike anyone of us at any time.”

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