A young woman died from an undiagnosed brain tumour after doctors mistook her symptoms for a migraine 14 times.
Stephanie Dickson endured nine months of agonizing neck pain, severe headaches and dizzy spells. Doctors repeatedly blamed her symptoms of neck pain, headaches and dizziness on migraines
The 24-year-old couldn’t shake the feeling that something was wrong, even telling her friend she feared it was a brain tumour. But doctors repeatedly prescribed her with painkillers, blaming the pain on migraines. When her headaches and dizziness became overwhelming, she went to A&E at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh in April 2013. She was put on a drip but discharged the next morning.
Hours later Stephanie, who was described as “happy, fit and intelligent” was found dead by her family. Post mortem examinations found a benign tumour had caused a massive build-up of pressure in her skull, which had it been treated even the night before, could have saved the 24-year-old’s life.
Specialists confirmed that if Stephanie had been given the correct treatment up until the night she died, she would have had a 98 per cent chance of survival, her family claims. Her best friend Laura Aberdour, 27, has spoken out about the devastating time her friends and family have been through.
And she is encouraging other young woman never to back down if they think something is wrong. Up until the night before she died, she had a 98 per cent chance of survival, Laura Aberdour Stephanie’s Friend said
The mum-of-one said: “We have all been left broken by what’s happened. It’s truly devastating.
“It’s taken me until now to be strong enough to talk about it because it should never have happened. She was only 24.”
Laura, who met Stephanie at high school, added: “Steph had so much energy, she was always laughing and smiling, and she loved socialising. But in April 2013, when her symptoms became overwhelming, Stephanie was rushed to hospital
The next evening the 24-year-old was found dead by her family “She had just bought her first flat and had everything going for her when she passed away. “She was one of those girls everyone wanted to be like. She was amazing. “For a while she had been complaining of a sore head, but I was only 23 at the time. I wasn’t too concerned. “I guess when you’re young you think you’re invincible – I never even thought about anything as serious as a brain tumour.
“But I do remember going to the gym with her one day, and she suggested then she might have a brain tumour.
“I remember saying to her ‘oh, don’t say that’ but I do think she knew all along something wasn’t quite right. “She persistently went to the doctors.” Laura said her best friend had her “whole life ahead of her”. She said they put faith in medical professionals but were let down when no-one took Stephanie seriously. “She didn’t need to die,” Laura said. In honour of her friend, Laura is now organizing a fundraising event to raise money for The Brain Tumour Charity. The organization funds pioneering research to increase survival, raise awareness of the symptoms and effects of brain tumours.
It also provides support for those affected by the condition and aims to improve their quality of life.
Tests after her death revealed that Stephanie had a benign brain tumour that was placing extreme pressure on her brain
Geraldine Pipping, director of fundraising at The Brain Tumour Charity, said: “We receive no government funding and rely 100 per cent on voluntary donations and gifts in Wills.
“It’s only through the efforts of people such as Stephanie’s family, friends and everyone tirelessly fundraising in her memory, that we can work towards our twin goals of doubling survival and halving the harm caused by brain tumours.
“Every penny they raise will be committed to finding a cure for this devastating disease.
“Brain tumours are the biggest cancer killer of children and people under 40 in the UK and survival rates have not improved significantly over the last 40 years. This must change.”
Laura’s Ladies Day fundraiser will take place on Saturday March 18 in Portobello, Edinburgh, at the Beach Lane Social Club.
Laura added: “The aim of the Ladies Day is to keep Steph alive and fight for her.
“We need to do all we can to raise awareness of brain tumours and to get the message out there that if someone thinks they have one, don’t back down.
“If you’re not well, please get checked out.”
Source: The Sun Newspaper