Mother and father kept 12-year-old son's terminal brain tumour a secret from him so he could 'live a normal life'
Adam Lewis lived for 12 months after his terminal diagnosis last yearHis parents did not tell him so he could live a happy, normal lifeAfter suffering a fit he was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumourHe went to school when he could and enjoyed a helicopter ride and abseiling
He knew he had the tumour, undergoing radiotherapy and chemotherapy, but not the severity of the diagnosis
Sister Chloe Netherton said he was 'the silliest, bravest boy' she knew
15:13 GMT, 24 July 2012
The parents of a 12-year-old boy made the heartbreaking decision not to tell their son he was dying so he could live the remainder of his life normally.
Adam Lewis was diagnosed with a brain tumour in April last year after an eight-hour biopsy.
When his family were told that the diagnosis was terminal about six weeks later, his parents Kevin Lewis and Kim Horner opted not to tell Adam so he could carry on living a normal, happy life for as long as possible.
Unaware but happy: Adam Lewis, pictured on holiday in 2010, was unaware he was dying because his parents wanted him to live a happy, normal life
Protective family: Mother Kim Horner (left) did not tell Adam (centre) about his terminal diagnosis so he could enjoy the time he had left with brother Luke (right) and councillor Lynne Barnett (centre back)
Adam lived for 12 months after the diagnosis unaware of his fate, undergoing numerous bouts of radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
An avid Batman fan, he was always smiling and continued to go to school when he could until his death on May 3 at Sheffield Children’s Hospital.
Adam, who divided his time living with his mother in Deckham, Gateshead, and father in Barton, near Hull, went abseiling, flew in a helicopter and met a speedway team after his diagnosis thanks to his family and Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice in Sheffield.
His devastated sister Chloe Netherton, 21, spoke on behalf of the family about their decision to keep his terminal diagnosis from him.
She said: ‘As a family, we made the decision not to tell him it was terminal.
Family photos: Adam showed his cheeky side on holiday in 2010 (left) and although the steroids he took for treatment made him put on weight, he still enjoyed activities such as a helicopter ride (right) after his diagnosis
‘He was still going to school and having a normal life and we wanted that to continue for as long as possible.
‘He knew he had a brain tumour and that he would have to undergo chemo and radiotherapy to keep it at bay.
'He also had steroids, which made him pile a load of weight on but through all the treatment, he smiled all the way through.
‘He was the funniest, silliest, bravest boy I have ever known.’
Ms Netherton, who lives with her fiance
John Wilkinson and two-year-old son Charlie in Deckham, said her
brother had been staying with her in early 2011 when he first fell ill
after suffering a fit.
They will remember: (Left to right) Brother Luke, sister Chloe, her son Charlie and fiance John Wilkinson 'will always love and miss Adam'
She said: ‘I rang 999 and he was taken to hospital and checked out. He went downhill from there really. He was feeling really unwell.
'The doctors carried out tests and realised one of his eyes wasn’t responsive.
‘They then discovered the brain tumour and it was pressing so hard on his eye that it wasn’t responding.
Ms Netherton was in disbelief when she heard Adam’s diagnosis.
She said: ‘I remember being at work and waiting for the call to tell me the results.
'I just remember screaming out and other members of staff coming in to see what had happened. I couldn’t believe it.
‘My baby brother, the boy who slept in my bed because he loved his cuddles, the boy who was so smiley and cheeky, was getting his life taken away from him.’
When the hospital called to tell her that Adam was losing his battle against the tumour she said the family been waiting for the phone call.
She said: ‘We knew it would be coming one day and when it did, we jumped in the car and drove as fast as we could to the hospital.
‘I know it sounds cliched, but he hung on until we got there.
‘We all got the chance to say our goodbyes and then he passed away on May 3.
‘I was so proud to say he was my baby brother. I adored him like he was my own baby. He brought so much joy to our family.
‘I love and miss him so much and always will.’