Mother raising awareness about dangers of persistent headaches after her 19-year-old passed away

This is the tragic tale of a 19-year-old who passed away in 2022 after ‘studying hard at university’.

girl persistent headaches death
© Euphoria / The Reasonable Bunch
girl persistent headaches death

We’ve all had a sore head: usually you can get rid of it by lying down in a dark, quiet room, drinking lots of water or taking a painkiller. However, persistent sore heads can be a sign that something more serious is going on. Courtney Hector, from Bracknell in Berkshire, found this out the hard way. The 19-year-old died in 2022 after complaining of headaches while studying at university.

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We’ve already heard of the woman who suffered terrible headaches and ended up having a cyst filled with tapeworm larvae removed from her brain. However, this story does not have a happy ending. Here’s what happened to Courtney while she was only 19 years old.

Courtney suffered from headaches

Courtney started studying law at Birmingham City University in 2021. This is when she first started getting bad headaches, which is not unusual when people start studying and spend a lot of their day focusing on a screen. However, her symptoms just got worse and worse. Eventually, she started losing her sight in both eyes, and her hearing and control over the whole left side of her body.

She went to A&E several times, and in January 2022 she received some terrifying news. A scan had revealed a small growth on her brain. Courtney was put on steroids to help reduce the swelling inside her head, but ended up having to undergo surgery. The operation seemed to go smoothly, and Courtney went back to living a normal life.

Courtney’s death

However, in March 2022 the young woman started to feel her symptoms come back, and she lost her vision in both eyes. Courtney underwent a slew of grueling treatments: biopsies, radiography and rounds of chemotherapy. Nothing worked. She lost control completely of her left side, began losing her hearing, and even developed type 1 diabetes.

The cancer spread to her spine in November 2022, and she was placed in intensive care. Courtney fell into a coma, then she died on 3 December.

Courtney’s mum has spoken out

Speaking about her daughter’s experience, Courtney’s mum Kim explained:

I would have done anything to take my beautiful baby girl’s pain away from her.
I would have swapped places with her. I would have done anything.

Kim wants to raise awareness around the potentially serious underlying issues connected to headaches:

If I can help just one person, I feel like I am doing my best for Courtney.

The committed mother plans to do a skydive in May to raise funds for the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity, despite having a fear of heights. Courtney’s friends and family have already gathered £1,839 by organising walks, coffee mornings and race nights. If you would like to donate, you can find the page here.

Kim urged people to ‘please get headaches checked out if they linger’. She said: ‘You know your body and your parents know you. If you have a gut feeling that it could be serious, you need to push.’

The NHS advises that you should see a GP if your headache keeps coming back and painkillers don’t help. Similarly, you should seek medical help if you have a bad throbbing pain at the front or side of your head, sickness and a sensitivity to light and noise.

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Sources used:

The Sun: TAKEN TOO SOON ‘Beautiful’ girl, 19, died just months after suffering from persistent headaches ‘while studying hard at university’

NHS: Headaches

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