Newcastle mum who thought she was suffering with menopause symptoms dies of brain tumour

The family of a mum who thought she was going through the menopause before she died of a brain tumour are warning people to get checked if they have concerns.

Sarah Hawkes, who was 45 when she died on 20 June 2022, was a community nurse and mother-of-two.

In early 2022, she started feeling unwell, with headaches, migraines and brain fog impacting on her everyday life.

The Newcastle woman visited the doctors several times believing she had menopause, and was waiting for a brain scan, but one morning she never woke up and her family were later told by a coroner she had died from a stage four brain tumour.

Husband James Hawkes said: "When I’d gone to bed, she was pacing the floor upstairs, the landing and she just said, ‘Oh, you might have to take the kids in the morning, because that's the worst headache I've had in a long time. It's really bad”.

"I thought nothing of it and said ‘no problem’. Went to bed, woke up. Just popped my head through the door. I was just about to jump into the shower. I just thought I’d check in on her and she was just lying on the floor next to the bed.

James and Sarah Hawkes Credit: Family Photograph

"Really, it's only since she's passed, bless her, we’ve realised how much she did for us all really and what a massive hole it has been for everybody and trying to pick up the pieces and stuff and obviously for the kids, it's been huge for them, really. It's a massive loss."

The loss, he said, is indescribable, but he wanted to raise awareness of brain tumours so that other families do not have to go through what they have been through.

He added: "If in doubt, check it out, because I think I said it's like the silent killer almost. I think it's very similar symptoms to the menopause, the brain fog and the headachy things."

Sarah with Molly and Oliver Credit: Family Photograph

Sarah’s children, Molly, 14 and Oliver, 11, wanted to do something for charity in honour of their mum and have so far raised around £10,000 for The Brain Tumour Charity.

Oliver said: "£10,090 and we're still going, which is loads of money you and we’re thinking we can still get more, which is crazy to me."

Molly added: "I think it shows how special she was and how loved she was by so many people, which is like good because obviously we probably saw her the most out of everyone so it’s really good to see how much of a difference she made to loads of people."

Hawkes family Credit: Family Photograph

On Sunday 26 March, at 4pm, the family will join friends of Sarah to do a charity walk around the bridges of Newcastle's Quayside.

Sarah's dad, Gordon, said: "The walk means a lot, because they're raising money to help other people with brain tumours. Really, it's just raising money and keeping her memory going and a lot of her friends have been in touch from work and want to come on Sunday to do the walk, because they want to keep her memory going.

"They say they keeping looking round to see when she’s going to walk in the office and they just say she’s a big loss.

"Her boss, Steven, he said he loved three women in his life. One was his mother, one was his wife and the other one was Sarah. It’s just hard to take."

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