Misdiagnosed Ear Infection Leads to Tragic Loss: Mother Advocates for Increased Brain Tumour Research Funding

Misdiagnosed Ear Infection Leads to Tragic Loss: Mother Advocates for Increased Brain Tumour Research Funding

…By Alan Peterson for TDPel Media. A mother is advocating for increased research funding following the misdiagnosis of her teenage son’s suspected ear infection, which turned out to be a fatal brain tumour.


Niall Kavanagh, aged 19, was rushed to the emergency room after experiencing sudden forgetfulness and an inability to speak.

Sadly, he passed away just three weeks after receiving the devastating diagnosis.

The grieving mother is determined to prevent other families from enduring the same heartbreak.


Early Symptoms Ignored:

Niall’s decline in health began after a football game in September 2021.

He called his mother, Claire, to inform her of feeling sick and later collapsed, prompting a visit to the emergency room.

Unfortunately, the warning signs were overlooked, and his symptoms were attributed to a suspected virus or ear infection.

Persistent Worsening Symptoms:

Despite his continued illness over several weeks, Niall’s condition deteriorated, causing concern among family members.

Claire scheduled a GP appointment for him, but he never made it.


The alarm bells began ringing when Niall started forgetting conversations with his mother and displaying other worrying signs.

Emergency Hospitalization:

One day, Niall’s condition worsened rapidly, rendering him unable to walk or speak.

His family rushed him to the emergency room, where he was initially believed to have consumed something harmful.

Medical staff also suspected a seizure due to his unresponsiveness and lack of coordination.

Heartbreaking Diagnosis:

After undergoing a scan in October 2021, doctors delivered the devastating news of a brain lesion.


They expressed grave concerns about the aggressive nature of Niall’s tumor, leaving little hope for his survival.

Claire was forced to deliver the heartbreaking news to Niall’s younger brothers, preparing them to say their goodbyes.

A Temporary Miracle and a Tragic Turn:

Niall underwent emergency surgery and, against all odds, regained the ability to talk, use his phone, and breathe independently for three weeks.

However, after a shunt removal procedure, he failed to regain consciousness. Niall’s brain began swelling uncontrollably, and his condition deteriorated further, ultimately leading to his passing.

Advocating for Research Funding:

Claire Kavanagh is now collaborating with Brain Tumour Research to advocate for increased funding and prioritization of brain tumour research by the government.


The goal is to align brain tumour research funding with that allocated for breast, bowel, and lung cancers, as well as leukemia.

Claire emphasizes the desperate need for funds and urges others to sign the petition to support the cause.


The misdiagnosis and tragic loss of Niall Kavanagh have prompted his grieving mother to campaign for greater research funding to combat brain tumours.

Brain Tumour Research, with Claire’s support, aims to raise awareness and gather 100,000 signatures on their petition, pressuring the government to prioritize research in this critical field.

By finding a cure and offering hope to affected families, the campaign seeks to address the inadequacies of the current funding system and improve outcomes for brain tumour patients and their loved ones.


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