'My brother died from a brain tumour after unexpected injury from game of pool'

A Darwen mum is raising funds in memory of her brother who was left in a vegetative state following a brain injury after a game of pool. Emma Kate's brother, Adam Isherwood had a "massive brain haemorrhage" when he was just 33 years old in 2013.

As a baby, he was diagnosed with a brain aneurysm and was given an coil and stent to stop the aneurysm from growing. Although medics warned Adam could experience a brain haemorrhage one day, his collapse came as a shock for his family and loved ones.

"He was playing pool one day," Emma, a paediatric nurse, told LancsLive. "I think they were losing the game and then they were winning. So he jumped up, with the adrenaline and he jumped which was what triggered it.


"That's what started the brain haemorrhage. So they took him to Blackburn and then took him to Preston, but I think by the time they got there the bleed was that bad it had completely squashed his brain."

To help manage the situation, Adam was given a tracheostomy - a procedure where a hole is made at the front of the neck to help you breathe. "He was fed through a tube, but he didn't know anyone was there for four years," Emma added.

"So four years later he ended up with an aggressive brain tumour in the same place as the bleed, which is very unlucky. But he didn't know anything, because of the brain injury he had he was in a vegetative state really."

Within seven weeks of the tumour diagnosis, Adam passed away at the age of 39 in March 2017. Emma said: "He looked exactly the same as me, so that was a hard loss."

After Adam's passing, Emma suffered another tragedy when her best friend Lesley Greenall Rollinson was diagnosed with rectal cancer in April 2017. Emma recalled: "She struggled with piles, believe it or not, for many years.

"It was just getting worse and worse. So she was given two options of this new treatment, or to go under general anaesthetic.

"She opted to go under general anaesthetic and that's where they found she had stage four cancer. She ended up having a diversion of her bowel, so she had a stoma which was quite a big thing because she was only quite young really."

After undergoing treatment, Emma says her friend was in remission. Following this, Lesley experienced some pain in her shoulder but they put it down to repetitive strain from sitting at a desk for work.

Due to her medical history, Lesley took herself for a scan and unfortunately, her condition had spread. Cancer was found in her spine and eventually, it spread to her brain. She passed away on April 23, 2021 at the age of 51.

Ever since her best friend's death Emma has been raising money for Rosemere Cancer Foundation in her memory. Before and immediately after her death, Emma hosted a 1980's themed night at her close friends pub, the Rishton Arms and every year, she's been holding events in Lesley's name.

"She was always worried about being forgotten about, which wouldn't happen anyway," Emma said. "She made such a difference to everybody's lives, but I'm just dedicated to making sure that no one does forget her."

Another major player in Emma's life was her colleague at Royal Blackburn Hospital, Trisha Barcroft. A couple of years ago and after retirement, Trisha also passed away from cancer. To remember her, Emma will be raising funds for East Lancs Hospice.

"She was the sister," Emma explains. "When I was a student she was there, she was well-known and very very good. The doctors listened to her, she was that good.

"So I knew her anyway and I was friends with her family and her children, so I'm doing it for them really."

In order to remember her friends and sibling, Emma will be raising money for Headway, East Lancs Hospice and Rosemere Cancer Foundation. So far, she's already raised £400 by raffling a signed Jurgen Klopp hat to raise funds for the charities.

An event will be held on Saturday, April 27 from 2pm, at the Rishton Arms. It is an 'alphabet party' where anyone is welcome, although they have to be over 18. Visitors are encouraged to dress as something representing the first letter of their name.