Raising vital funds for life saving research.
Our son Adam loved life, and was such a kind and happy, fun-loving son and brother to Nathan.
Adam was such a happy little boy, he got on with everyone and although he was shy he was always helping other people and he had the biggest heart. When he was 6 he was overjoyed when I had another baby and he helped me do everything for him, he loved helping me feed and bath him and he used to sing him to sleep. He loved music, football and going to gigs. He learned how to play the guitar, and was in a rock band called Hellhound.
He was 18 when he was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in his knee and after early scans, was told it was metastatic and had spread to his lungs. From the day he was diagnosed to the day he passed away, he was so courageous and amazed me with his strength of character and mind. He fought to the end and thought only of our pain, never complaining about his and what he was going though, he was so incredibly brave.
Adam was initially 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 Amanda 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. Everything happened so fast after that, as his health declined, and now when I look back I understand the tremendous courage and compassion he had in coping and hiding his pain. He spent more time thanking us for everything we did for him, and worrying how we were managing.
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. When 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 Tribute Fund to 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. Young people's lives are being taken away far too soon. We have done charity events, raffles, cake sales and would appreciate any help you can give all of us, with any events or donations.
He was the bravest, most selfless person I have ever known or will know, I have no doubt of that. I am so proud he was my son, I know how truly lucky I was to have been blessed with such an incredible boy. Chris, Nathan and I miss him beyond words, no child or family should have to go through this, and we want to help raise funds to give others a fighting chance. Funding is essential for research and trials; and as bone cancer is not one of the more common cancers, it doesn’t get the money invested in it that it should.
The pain never fades, but we take comfort from knowing that all the fundraising we, and the other families and supporters of BCRT, do, will one day stop this terrible disease from taking anyone else's child' life.
Thank you for reading about Adam, he was an incredible son, and we will always be lost without him.
Sue and Chris Newsome
Text BCRT ADAMP to 70800 to donate £5
*Text donation costs the donation amount + standard network rate. The Adam Panther Tribute Fund will receive 100% of your donation.
Get in touch if you would like to create your own special fund.