New mother dies of brain cancer just 6 months after NHS doctors claimed herpes was to blame for her ‘baby brain’


A new mother died of brain cancer just months after NHS doctors claimed her ‘baby brain’ may have been down to herpes.

Anneka Johnston, 33, died in 2019 after being diagnosed with stage-four glioblastoma. A week before the diagnosis, doctors claimed herpes was causing her symptoms.

But she later collapsed while holding her then six-month-old daughter Sienna and was rushed to hospital in June.

Anneka originally assumed her dizziness — a tell-tale symptom of the deadly tumour — was caused by ‘baby brain’ after giving birth to daughter Sienna at the end of 2018, her heartbroken husband Alan revealed.

Anneka Johnstone (pictured with daughter Sienna and husband Alan), 33, died on November 18, 2019, after she was diagnosed with a glioblastoma – an aggressive type of cancer that occurs in the brain or spinal cord

She was told during her initial visit that she had herpes but was later diagnosed with glioblastoma, one of the deadliest forms of brain cancer.

Alan, a medical technician from Dumfries, Scotland, said: ‘It hit us all like a tonne of bricks, Anneka wanted to see her daughter grow up.

‘After being told the news, we drove back to tell the family. The first person Anneka saw when she walked through the door was Sienna – she collapsed.

‘All she wanted was to be a mum, be there for Sienna’s 18th and watch her get married.’

Mrs Johnstone was rushed to hospital in June 2019 after she fell while holding Sienna

Her husband, Alan Johnstone, is now raising money for a charity aimed at fighting one of the deadliest brain cancers.

‘It was sickening to know the person she was and that there was nothing I could do,’ said Alan.

‘I could see the feat in her eyes she was terrified – like anyone would be at 33 years old.

‘Anneka was dealing with it well, but the family was not, we knew there was nothing we could do.’

While there are more than 100 different types of brain tumours, glioblastoma is widely recognised as the most aggressive primary brain cancer.

Part of the reason these cancers are so deadly is that they emerge from the brain cells called astrocytes.

Another deadly characteristic of these brain tumours is their ability to advance rapidly, meaning it’s often too late for surgery once cancer has been found.

It is the same disease that killed politician Tessa Jowell.

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Ola Alabi
Ola Moses is a certified writer, He writes technically and creatively. He is the CEO of WORDSWORTH, a house where writing is made easier for all. He is a content creator at EsB TV, since 2019. He is a young man that showcases professionalism in all that he does, he was announced as Child and Green Foundation Person of the Year 2018, one of his many lists of honours.


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