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Cancer patient Dies of Massive Radiation Overdose

Teen cancer patient, Lisa Norris, 16 has succumbed to the accidental 17 overdoses of radiation, almost a year after the mistake was discovered//.

Lisa Norris, from Girvan in Ayrshire, was diagnosed with a brain tumor in October last year. She was admitted to the Beatson Oncology Centre in Glasgow, Scotland's largest cancer hospital, which has administered more than 29,000 radiation treatments in the past 20 years.

Following a series of 17 radiotherapy sessions at the hospital the she was told in January that the tumor had disappeared. However within days of her radiotherapy hospital consultants were forced to reveal the news that at each radiation treatment she had been given 65 per cent more radiation than she should have been.

She and her parents, Ken and Liz, were warned by doctors that the overdose could prove fatal or probably leave her paralyzed and suffering brain damage.

Shortly after being informed of the errors Lisa said, "We don't know what's in the future because I could be brain-damaged, I could be paralyzed. Later in the future, in 10 to 15 years, I could not be here. It's just time that will tell if anything is going to happen."

Lisa, underwent extensive oxygen treatment to overcome the mistakes. She suffered discomfort from the radiation as her body turned red, broke out in weeping sores and affected her internal organs.

In the summer her cancer returned again and in September Lisa was taken to Glasgow's Southern General Hospital for a two-hour operation to remove fluid from her brain.

Although, reportedly back on her feet within a week, she soon found that the cancer had spread to her spine and soon other parts of her body as well. She died at home on Wednesday, surrounded by her family.

A post-mortem examination will be performed to determine whether the cancer or the radiation overdose was ultimately responsible for her death.

Her parents however blame the radiation overdose saying, "We remain convinced it was the overdoses that did this, not the cancer. We knew things weren't looking good but we never ever expected Lisa to pass away so soon. We had hoped to see Christmas".

The Scottish Executive has launched an investigation into the overdose at the Beatson centre that is run by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde. A spokeswoman said yesterday that although the findings were in the "final stages of preparation" she was unable to indicate when they would be issued.

Health officials have disclosed 46 incidents since the discovery of errors in Lisa's case where the planned treatment of patients was different from that given - including 14 cases where patients were given overdoses. Sir John Arbuthnott, the chairman of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, said that staff were "extremely upset" to hear of Lisa's death. Her funeral is planned for the next week.
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