Jim Miller, 49, from Paisley, died from a brain tumour in January 1994, just four months after being diagnosed. Jim, a tax inspector at HMRC, went to his GP after his daughter Barbara Graham, 48, noticed his “odd behaviour”. He was referred to hospital where an MRI scan revealed he had a brain tumour. Barbara and her work colleagues will be taking part in Wear A Hat Day to raise money for Brain Tumour Research on Friday 31 March 2023.
Barbara tells her dad’s story…
I gave birth to Darren, my first child and Dad’s first grandchild, on 2 September 1993.
Around this time, Dad had started doing some strange things. He would put things in the wrong places, such as soap powder in the fridge. He also couldn’t drive properly, putting the car in the wrong gear.
“He was also told, without treatment, he would have just three months to live.”
If he had treatment, he would get 12 months. Dad was planning to retire early at 50 so it was very sad.
“Dad was over the moon when his first grandchild was born but then he was dealt this massive blow just a week later.”
I was in total shock, and everything started happening so quickly.
Dad didn’t want to have any treatment because he said he would rather have better quality of life. But by the end of October, he rapidly became unwell and he was hospitalised at the Royal Alexandra in Paisley with pneumonia and shingles. He was also losing a lot of weight and he was in and out of hospital. He returned home in December but by then, he had lost all of the function down his left-hand side so we moved his bed into the dining room downstairs.
Dad changed his mind and decided to go for the treatment but by that time he had become too weak so he was unable to have it. I feel sure that treatment would have prolonged his life.
“Dad went through such a rapid decline, it was horrible to watch. His whole quality of life crumbled.”
Dad was only 49 and was very fit and healthy, but the brain tumour turned him into looking like an old man. I felt totally helpless watching his decline.
On 12 January 1994, Dad was found unconscious in bed by my step-mum, Rae Miller. He was taken by ambulance to the Royal Alexandra Hospital. He remained unconscious in the hospital, and he died two days later with Rae and I by his side.
My work colleagues at the HMRC call centre in East Kilbride and I are taking part in Wear A Hat Day for Brain Tumour Research on Friday 31 March.
“I was devastated and angry at the lack of knowledge there was about brain tumours, and I’m disappointed not enough is known now. Much more work is needed to be done in this area.”
I just pray something like this doesn’t happen to me.
Brain tumours are indiscriminate; they can affect anyone at any age. What’s more, they kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer... yet just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease.
Brain Tumour Research is determined to change this.
Together we will find a cure.