Somerset mum calls for more awareness around early symptoms of brain tumours after son's death

  • Verity Wishart sits down with Adam's mum Annette Stimpson in Somerset.

A mum from Somerset whose son died less than six months after being diagnosed with a brain tumour is calling for greater awareness of the early symptoms.

Adam Stimpson, 20, from Wedmore, was studying Aerospace Engineering at the University of Swansea before his death in May 2023.

His mum Annette described him as a 'kind, generous, fun loving young man'.

Adam was unwell for six months before his diagnosis, and was even misdiagnosed by a consultant with an eye movement disorder called Duane Syndrome, and referred on to specialist NHS care.

He then went on to develop further symptoms.

"I noticed when he was home that he was having sickness, a lot of morning sickness, so I took him to the doctors again and they suggested that it may be down to diet or maybe some intolerance to certain food types", Anette told ITV News.

Adam Stimpson, 20, from Wedmore, in Somerset was studying Aerospace Engineering at the University of Swansea before his death in May 2023. Credit: Annette Stimpson

At a follow up eye appointment 6 months later, a CT scan led to the shocking diagnosis of a brain tumour.

"That's when we got the tragic news that it was Stage 4 brain cancer, and unfortunately was inoperable."

As a parent Annette said it rocked her world.

"You're at a stage in your life where you feel that you've got them through A-Levels and they're driving and they're happy at University and on a good career path with lots of good friends, their whole world is ahead of them and it crashes down overnight."

Annette is calling for more education on the early signs of brain cancer to save lives.

"If we had known earlier that's always going to be an unknown question as to what difference it would make.

"None of us want to consider the worst but maybe sometimes to have the knowledge of what the worse could be can be useful."

Annette highlighted there needs to be more awareness in the healthcare system, "we need to connect the dots and not see isolated symptoms."

Symptoms of brain tumours include:

  • Headaches

  • Seizures

  • Nausea and vomiting

  • Changes in personality

  • Weakness in one side of the body

  • Memory loss

  • Speech difficulty

The Brain Tumour Charity is one organisation trying to raise awareness.

Anoushka Baker, Community Fundraiser for the charity said: "Brain tumours are the biggest cancer killer of under 40s in children and young adults.

"The Brain Tumour Charity funds a lot of research with the aim to hopefully cure brain tumours and also to make the most of that time that people have left and extend the time that people have left."

Annette now works closely with the charity both fundraising and volunteering.

"In terms of what motivates me to do it is really to raise the awareness but also to raise money for increasing research to improve treatments and ultimately to find a cure so something good can come from our loss", she said.