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Mother urges young people to check symptoms after daughter's death from brain tumour

The mother of a student who died from a brain tumour is urging young people to seek medical attention if they start to suffer persistent headaches.

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Courtney Hector was 19 when she passed away just 11 months after being diagnosed. Photo: Kim Hector

Courtney Hector, a law and criminal justice undergraduate at Birmingham City University (BCU), was 19-years-old when she passed away just 11 months after being diagnosed.

Her mother, Kim, has spoken about her daughter's plight, saying that she wanted to raise awareness to help stop people feeling how her daughter did.

She said: “I would have done anything to take my beautiful baby girl’s pain away from her and I would’ve swapped places with her. I would’ve done anything.

“So I want to raise awareness, to help others experiencing this. If I can help just one person, I feel like I am doing my best for Courtney.

"Please get headaches checked out if they linger.”

Courtney, who was from Berkshire, first started experiencing health problems as an 18-year-old at the end of 2021, not long after beginning her studies at BCU.

Her headaches were severe and she was told to see an optician, who identified an issue.

After numerous trips to A&E, Courtney was eventually sent for a scan in January 2022, which showed she had a small growth on her brain.

She was given steroids to reduce the swelling, but, at risk from going blind, she eventually needed surgery to reduce the pressure on her brain.

Her life was seemingly returning to normal until March 2022, when she started to feel unwell and began losing the sight in both eyes.

Biopsies, radiography, chemotherapy and regular trips to The Royal Marsden Hospital in Sutton followed, but Courtney’s health continued to decline.

Courtney's mother Kim is urging young people to seek medical attention if they start suffering from persistent headaches following her daughter's death. Photo: Kim Hector

She lost control of the left side of her body, developed Type 1 diabetes and began losing her hearing then, eventually, the cancer spread to the top of her spine.

At the end of November 2022, she was rushed to hospital and placed in intensive care, then fell into a coma and her body began shutting down before she passed away on December 3, 2022.

Kim Hector said: “She fought and fought and fought.

“Since my best friend left me, I feel numb every day. I really don’t know what to do without her, but I’m trying.

“My beautiful brave daughter was so selfless and kind.

"She would want me, her family and friends to all continue to live life and do everything that she can no longer do.”

Kim said that raising awareness was important, so she is raising funds for vital research, with a skydive in May helping to raise funds for the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity

She said: "More time and money need to go into the research of brain tumours so that this senseless loss my family and I are going through does not have to be experienced by other families.

“I can’t believe I am doing a skydive and I don’t think Courtney would believe it either.

“I don’t like flying and I’m petrified of heights.”

Kim said she had a final piece of advice for any young person troubled by regular headaches.

“You know your body and your parents know you.

“If you have a gut feeling that it could be serious, you need to push.

"You need to make sure you are seen by a doctor.”

To donate to Kim Hector's sky dive, go to

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