Young Scotsman dies of bowel cancer 13 days after diagnosis when twin sister strikes over “lack of care”

The family of a young Scottish twin who tragically died just 13 days after being diagnosed Stage 4 bowel cancer hit his ‘careless lack of care’.

Ryan Brown was found to have a 15x12cm mass in his intestine with further signs of the disease in his liver and lymph nodes on May 1, after vomiting fecal matter.

The 23-year-old’s parents were forced to hear the devastating news on a FaceTime call while on holiday in Tenerife during their son’s time. hospital admission.

His generous twin sister Hope was at his side at Wishaw General Hospital as doctors discussed chemotherapy and surgery before later stating that he was too ill for further therapy.



Dad Daryl with Ryan, Hope and Mom Carol Ann
Dad Daryl with Ryan, Hope and Mom Carol Ann

Ryan, who was just weeks away from graduate university, was placed in hospice care and passed away with his family nearby in the early hours of May 14th.

Hope, who has now lost her only sibling, missed the opportunity to diagnose her brother, who has been suffering from ulcerative colitis since the age of 12.

Patients with the painful inflammatory condition are at increased risk of developing cancer – with Ryan’s chances increased due to a family history of the disease.

Mourning sister Hope, 23, of Harthill, now spoke to raise awareness of ulcerative colitis while marking Ryan’s absence as “total neglect.”

She said: “We want answers. We want to know why Ryan was not treated properly.

“Ryan called me on May 1 asking me to go to the hospital because they wanted a family member to come in.



Ryan was in his fourth year at Strathclyde University
Ryan was in his fourth year at Strathclyde University

“Our mom and dad were actually in Tenerife at the time, so we had them on a FaceTime call. We thought it was to discuss surgery with him possibly getting a stomach bag.

“So I went in and they told us Ryan had cancer.

“The surgeon we talked to completely downplayed it. He realized it was just a tiny bit of cancer, and he would get chemistry and surgery to get rid of it. We didn’t think it sounded too serious.

“On May 3, his consultant came to see him and then he told Ryan how serious he really was. He had a 15x12cm tumor in his intestine, which is huge, and he had another on the other side of his intestine.

“It went right through his lymph nodes and it went right through seven sections of his liver. Obviously they couldn’t function because it was like splashes of sand right through his liver.

“We said the plans had changed and he was going to Monklands Hospital in Airdrie to get chemistry, but they wanted to postpone surgery.



Ryan's parents received the heartbreaking news via a FaceTime call
Ryan’s parents received the heartbreaking news via a FaceTime call

“By the end of the week, it was time for him to go to Beatson in Glasgow because they are the experts and can give him chemistry there.

“By Monday the 9th, my mother seemed to have a sixth feeling and turned to one of the nurses and said, ‘Ryan is too sick to get chemistry, is he?’

“She asked if they ever meant to tell us. But basically no one wanted to tell us because of their age and they didn’t want to upset us.

“They had to take a doctor from the Beatson in Glasgow to talk to us. She went out on the 10th and said they could do nothing. It was only too late.

“By the 12th, Ryan had been transferred to St Andrews Hospice in Airdrie. From there, he just went down. He was so sick and on Friday he was permanently ill.

“He passed away at 1pm – 13 days after his diagnosis. He never had a chance.

“My mother, who also has colitis, had two different types of bowel cancer, so they should look for it in Ryan.



Ryan took part in a charity walk last year for Crohn’s & Colitis UK charity
Ryan took part in a charity walk last year for Crohn’s & Colitis UK charity

“Her was caught at Stage 1 and she went to the Royal Infirmary in Edinburgh, where they do shifts every two years.

“So hers was caught very quickly while apparently in Lanarkshire, they don’t do that so often. But they should be tested every two years.

“That should be the minimum, regardless of age. Ryan’s last extension was in 2017 so he needed one this year, but obviously that was too late.

“I just feel like it shouldn’t happen. I’m so worried about it. That’s my twin brother and I lost him. ”

Ryan suffered a painful flare-up in February last year but was unable to get a face-to-face appointment due to the pandemic.

He continued to suffer from severe headaches and abdominal pain, which left him prone to agony, but steroids were prescribed without further testing.

His family claims that between February and April, he made 17 phone calls to specialist IBD nurses while he continued to try to get help.

In March this year, he was hospitalized where he spent a week receiving steroids with a drop and discharged without a colonoscopy or fecal sample.

He was reintroduced on April 22 after catching a coronavirus and was placed in solitary confinement for seven days.



Ryan was only one minute older than Hope
Ryan was only one minute older than Hope

But on April 30, the student began ejecting fecal matter and was rushed for an urgent CT scan for fears that his gut had ruptured.

The next day, Hope was called to be by her brother’s side while doctors delivered the heartbreaking news.

She believes there were several missed opportunities to diagnose her brother – who made history as part of the first set of twins born to a liver transplant patient.

Hope explained: “One of my close friends actually has colitis and she was diagnosed at 17. She had the exact same consultant Ryan had.

“Within two years, she was told that if she did not get a stomach bag, she would end up with bowel cancer. So why didn’t Ryan get the same treatment?

“When he was in the hospital for a week in March, why didn’t they check then? It would not get rid of the cancer, but he may have had a few more weeks or months.

“Or when he went to the doctors last year, why didn’t they do any scans or scans to try to find out what’s going on?”

“When he was in pediatric care, he used to provide regular samples for testing, but that didn’t happen when he was transferred.

“They even tell you that if you have had colitis for more than ten years, your chances of getting bowel cancer increase.

“So you would have thought they would try to check and find out regularly. It’s so frustrating. It’s a total negligence. “

Mom Carol Ann and dad Daryl plan to file a formal complaint to NHS Lanarkshire while Sister Hope will collect her honors degree in electrical and electronics engineering on her behalf.

NHS guidelines state that patients with ulcerative colitis have a higher chance of developing bowel cancer – with the risk increasing over the years.

Sufferers should have regular check-ups – colonoscopies – to look for signs of cancer about 10 years after the first development of symptoms.

The frequency of testing should increase the longer a patient lives with the condition – ranging from one to five years – depending on other risk factors including a family history of cancer.

Russell Coulthard, Deputy Director of Acute Services, said: “Our thoughts and sympathies are with the family after the sad death of this young man.

“We would ask the family to contact our patient team at patientaffairs.corporate@lanarkshire.scot.nhs.uk to offer them the opportunity to discuss their concerns with us directly.”

A spokesman for the Scottish Government said: “Our sympathy is with Mr Brown’s family.

“Our Endoscopy and Urological Diagnostic Recovery and Renewal Plan aims to increase capacity and is supported by £ 70 million. It focuses on key areas such as balance of demand and capacity, workforce training and development and infrastructure.

“Early diagnosis of cancer has never been more important, so we have dedicated an additional £ 20 million to our Early Cancer Screening Program (DCE) during the parliamentary term, which aims to provide greater public awareness of the signs and symptoms of cancer to improve. diagnostic rates. “

Scottish Labor MSP Monica Lennon added: “I am saddened to hear of Ryan’s tragic demise and can’t imagine the devastation his parents, Daryl and Carol Ann, and his twin sister, Hope, must feel.

“As Ryan himself has ulcerative colitis and there is a family history of bowel cancer, I agree with his family that he should have had more regular checkups.

“I will write to both NHS Lanarkshire and Humza Yousaf, the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care, for an explanation of the procedures followed in cases such as Ryan’s.”

Hope is raising funds for Crohns & Colitis UK in memory of her brother. Donate, please Click here.

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