Five-year-old boy's brain cancer was written off as FLU

My five-year-old boy’s brain cancer was written off as FLU: Mother tells of agony after medics repeatedly sent son home with paracetamol before head scan revealed it was too late

  • EXCLUSIVE Aiden Stead-Homans from Tipton died in mother Deb Stead’s arms 
  • He had a nine-month battle with cancer which saw him take on chemotherapy
  • But doctors discovered a tumour they previously missed and he was terminal

A mother told of her heartbreak after her five-year-old son died just nine months after doctors dismissed his brain cancer as the flu and sent him home with paracetamol. 

Aiden Stead-Homans died in his mother Deb Stead’s arms on September 13 after a heartbreaking nine-month battle with cancer.

Even though the ‘brave little soldier’ took on chemotherapy, doctors discovered a brain tumour they previously missed and he was given just two days to live.


Mother Deb Stead told of her heartbreak after her five-year-old son Aiden Stead-Homans (left during treatment and with his mother before their ordeal, right) died just nine months after doctors dismissed his brain cancer as the flu and sent him home with paracetamol

Aiden Stead-Homans (pictured during treatment) died in his mother Deb Stead’s arms on September 13 after a heartbreaking nine-month battle with cancer

Ms Stead first noticed something was wrong when Aiden, who’s family live in Tipton in the West Midlands, was limping – which he said was brought about after he stepped on a toy car at his grandmother’s house.

Aiden – who has a big sister Steph Baker, 24 – was first rushed to hospital after his knee ‘swelled up like a balloon’ in January this year.

But doctors put the swelling down to a flu and sent him home with antibiotics.

When the swelling persisted, doctors gave him paracetamol and ibuprofen – and send the poorly boy and his mother home again.

A third trip to the hospital prompted doctors to do an X-Ray as they feared he had a fracture. But nothing was found.

Eventually – when the youngster’s symptoms persisted –  Aiden was given a scan which discovered he had four tumours. 

One of which was in his leg which had started to spread and Aiden was treated with chemotherapy.

Ms Stead told MailOnline: ‘He started on chemotherapy and was so brave with it. He was inspirational.


Even though the ‘brave little soldier’ took on chemotherapy, doctors discovered a brain tumour they previously missed and he was given just two days to live. Left: Aiden before his treatment took hold. Right: Aiden after his diagnosis 

Ms Stead first noticed something was wrong when Aiden (pictured before the cancer took hold), who’s family live in Tipton in the West Midlands, was limping – which he said was brought about after he stepped on a toy car at his grandmother’s house

‘It’s obviously a horrible thing to go through but he was such a brave little soldier, he was still smiling and happy despite everything. There wasn’t a day he didn’t smile.

But a few months later, when the little boy was getting headaches and was ‘sleepy all the time’, doctors scanned his brain finding a tumour doctors had previously missed. 

Ms Stead said she ‘felt her world collapse’ when she was told the diagnosis was terminal. 

She said: ‘They scanned him again and they found a tumour in his brain that they’d missed before. 

‘They never scanned his brain, they only did his shoulders and below, that’s how they missed it.

Aiden – who has a big sister Steph Baker, 24 – was first rushed to hospital after his knee ‘swelled up like a balloon’ in January this year. Pictured: Aiden 

‘Then they said it was terminal, and I felt my world collapse.

‘I asked how long Aiden had, and they said he had two days to live. I was expecting a few months at least. It was horrible, my head was spinning and I had to leave the room.

‘He was moved to a private room so his whole family could say goodbye.

‘He didn’t really understand what was going on, and I told him he was going to go home in ten seconds – so I counted to ten, and when I got there he took his last breath.

‘I just want to raise awareness of what happened to Aiden so no mum has to go through what I went through. Maybe it would have been different if the doctors had recognized his symptoms earlier.’

Ms Sted’s friend Emma Britton set up a Go Fund Me page to raise money to support the family during Aiden’s cancer battle.

After he died, Ms Britton wrote: ‘Thank you so much to you all whose supported our little soldier Aiden.’

Aiden saw his sister Steph’s boyfriend Trevor Britton, 23, (pictured with Aiden) as a big brother


Ms Sted’s friend Emma Britton set up a Go Fund Me page to raise money to support the family during Aiden’s cancer battle. Pictured: Aiden (left) at a restaurant and with his sister’s boyfriend Trevor (right)

She added: ‘The last few weeks Aiden wasn’t feeling the best. 

‘He started to have headaches and sleeping a lot. On Friday Aiden’s family was told he had just days left they found cancer on Aidens brain and gave the heartbreaking news their was nothing else they could do for this beautiful young boy.

‘Unfortunately today Aiden couldn’t fight anymore. He’s gained his wings and he’s at at rest now.

‘This little boy has been so strong through all this. At just the age of five years old he’s now with the angels at rest.

‘Fly high little man, going to miss you so much. All we can do now is support Aiden’s family and make sure this little man gets the send off he deserves.’

The page is now raising money to go towards Aiden’s funeral and to support the family in their time of grief. 

To donate to the fund, click here. 

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