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Young dad died of brain tumour misdiagnosed as appendicitis – first symptoms


A family has spoken of its grief after a “kind-hearted” young dad died from a brain tumour that was initially misdiagnosed as appendicitis.

“Brave” Joshua Warner first started suffering headaches and sickness in late June this year, prompting him to seek medical help.

According to Joshua’s family, doctors gave the 25-year-old a CT scan and told him he had appendicitis, despite the fact he reported no stomach pain.

Joshua, from south east London, then underwent surgery to remove his appendix but just hours after coming home he was readmitted, still feeling sick.

This led to another scan, which showed an anomaly on his brain.

However, his family said this was attributed to a computer error and doctors discharged him yet again.

Further trips to A&E followed but the dad to four-year-old Andrew was allegedly turned away time and time again.

After collapsing on the floor of his grandparents’ bathroom he was rushed to a different hospital – the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich – for another CT scan.

These results matched the previous scan from Darent Valley Hospital.

In less than 24 hours he received the devastating news that he had a large brain tumour.

It had spread from the right side of his brain to the back and brain stem.

On September 5 the self-employed carpenter had a biopsy and was diagnosed with a highly aggressive brain cancer, midline glioma.

Doctors told Joshua’s family he had three months to live but he died just 12 days later at Greenwich and Bexley Community Hospice.

Now his family is sharing his story in the hopes of raising awareness of the deadly disease.

His mum, Eve Pateman, said: “He wanted to share his story as he did not want anyone else to not be believed and he wanted to highlight the symptoms of a brain tumour.”

Paying tribute to Josh, she said: “Josh was fun, he loved making people laugh.

“He was a prankster, and had a beautiful soul and a really kind heart and I think that was why most people fell in love with him. He touched people’s hearts.

“He was an amazing dad, brother and a brilliant son. He was just a fantastic man.

“He was so very brave, I cannot quantify how brave he was through all of this. He never moaned. I think I would be feeling sorry for myself, but he never once did that.

“He wanted to share his story as he did not want anyone else to not be believed and he wanted to highlight the symptoms of a brain tumour.

“He did not want another person to go through what he went through.”

The medical examiner has told Eve, who lives in Bexleyheath, that a report is being sent to the coroner’s office.

A fundraising page had been set up to help support Joshua through treatment and has raised more than £20,000. It will now be put into a fund for his son.

Eve added: “We have been massively supported by the community and our family. People have been unbelievably generous. I have just been overwhelmed by the generosity of businesses and people.

“It was Joshua’s wish for the money raised to go into a trust fund for his son. It is a really beautiful legacy he has been able to leave him.

“He loved his son so very much and it is heartbreaking to see Andrew asking where his dad is.”

To donate visit justgiving.com/crowdfunding/joshuawarner.‌ 

Joshua’s family are in the process of filing a complaint about his care. A spokesperson for the Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust said it was examining the case.

Common symptoms of a brain tumour include:

  • Headaches
  • Seizures (fits)
  • Persistently feeling sick (nausea), being sick (vomiting) and drowsiness
  • Mental or behavioural changes, such as memory problems or changes in personality
  • Progressive weakness or paralysis on one side of the body
  • Vision or speech problems.
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