Adam was sent for an x-ray that showed a dark shadow and was referred to a knee specialist, who suggested it may be a tumour.
He had many scans and bone biopsies over the next couple of weeks and the results showed it was osteosarcoma. The cancer was very aggressive and also metastatic and had spread to his lungs. From the first x-ray to this point was about a month and he was now in a wheelchair as he couldn't walk at all due to the size of his knee.
He started his chemotherapy in August and was told it was highly unlikely he would lose his leg but should count a year out of his life to get better. At mid point we were told Adam's leg couldn't be saved; a massive shock to everyone, especially to him.
On November 28th Adam had his left leg amputated mid thigh, higher than we all expected. The next day he was walking with a zimmer frame and the next day with crutches, going up and down stairs. The following day he was allowed home as they were so pleased with his progress.
On December 18th he was told his lung tumours were inoperable. They did tests on his amputated leg and 90% was cured but 10% was resistant to the chemo; the cancer in his lungs was made up mainly of the 10% type. He was told to go home for Christmas as it wouldn't get any worse in that time and in January they would try with another type of chemo.
He got his prosthetic leg in February and impressed the physio team with his determination and was thrilled to be allowed to bring it home after just one session as he loved being upright again.
In March he was told his mid-point scans weren't showing the improvement they had hoped for. The chemotherapy was now making him very ill and he needed up to 7 pints of blood a time as his blood counts struggled to come back up. He decided he would prefer to have a better quality of life as he knew it was no use and stopped the chemotherapy.
He had always wanted to take his girlfriend Manda to Paris so we decided to go together for a break in April. He was tired and struggling with his breathing so spent all the time in his wheelchair but as always was happy and smiling the whole time.
When we came back the palliative care team told us his lungs were very bad and they anticipated he only had 2/3 months left to live, he didn't want to know so we kept it to ourselves. His step-dad Chris and I had arranged a meeting with his hero, Dave Mustaine from Megadeth, for Adam and his brother Nathan in mid June as a surprise so we told him the news, he was so excited and couldn't wait.
Just over a week later his breathing became even more difficult and the hospital put him on oxygen. He was moved to a hospice whilst oxygen was arranged for in his bedroom and came home on the Tuesday. He was so happy to be back in his own bed but by this time he had no strength at all, he had to be carried to bed and could barely speak as he was so short of breath.
On Friday morning 18th May the nurses increased his morphine to try to help him get some sleep as he had hardly slept in a week. He finally went to sleep and at 7.10pm that evening Adam died with his girlfriend and I at his side.
He was 19 years old and it was only 10 months after he was diagnosed.
None of us expected it to happen so suddenly and I'm sure he didn't either. He was so brave throughout his illness, even though he was in so much pain and scared of what was going to happen, and fought it every step of the way.
His funeral was amazing, he had already chosen the song he wanted playing, A Tout Le Monde, by Megadeth, and his closest friends were proud to carry him. The turnout was amazing, so many people loved him and we were so proud. Adam was one in a million and no-one will ever forget him. I am so grateful I had Adam for my son and will treasure his memory forever, we all loved him so much and life will never be the same now he's gone, I miss him beyond belief.
We have set up the Adam Panther Memorial Bone Cancer Fund which will raise money for the Bone Cancer Research Trust as we are all painfully aware not enough is being done to help this rare but aggressive form of cancer and young people's lives are taken away far too soon.