A mum has spoken of her shock after her 22-year-old son died of a rare brain haemorrhage – just two weeks after being taken ill.
Natasha Mellor said her eldest son Oliver had suffered headaches when he was growing up but no-one knew that he had been born with a brain condition.
His distraught family have taken comfort from donating his organs to six people, including two children.
Oliver, who was taken ill on January 12, died in Royal Preston Hospital on Thursday, January 24, five days after an operation to remove a blood clot on his brain.
The condition – known as AVM of the brain – rendered him unable to recognise some family and friends.
Natasha, of Coniston Avenue, Accrington, said just weeks before his death, the IT technician had a good job, a beautiful girlfriend and the car of his dreams.
She said: “He was a ticking time bomb. Everything started on January 12 – he was completely fine before then. It was tragic.
“He was so well liked and loved and people didn’t have a bad word to say about him.”
Oliver, who lived with his grandparents on Chatterton Drive, Baxenden, was taken ill at home and his condition rapidly deteriorated.
Natasha, whose six other children have been left devastated by their brother’s death, said he was taken to Royal Blackburn Hospital where he started having fits.
She said: “He lost all sense of who he was and where he was. He didn’t know anything - the date of his birthday or anything.
“He was so confused, but he thought he was normal. He had no idea that he was ill. They had to put dark glasses on him because he had photophobia, a fear of light, and the light was hurting him.”
Natasha, 41, added: “We were told pretty quickly that it was terminal. He had his scan and they said it was severe brain damage.”
Former Rhyddings school pupil Oliver had enrolled to become an electrician at Blackburn College before working as an IT technician for the past two years. He was made redundant just before Christmas.
Natasha said her son, who she called ‘Goldenballs’ because he did nothing wrong, was mad about his car and his music and had been with his girlfriend Kylie for six months.
She added: “Everyone is just distraught. I have six other children from age 21 down to five. They all have different memories of Oliver. Jack, my youngest, just says Oliver is an angel.
“He was so polite and helpful to other people. ”
Oliver’s grandma Norma Mellor said the fact his organs had been donated had helped them to know that he was living on.
She said: “That’s how we have tried to comfort ourselves. “It took a lot of courage for his mum to agree to that.”
His funeral is at Accrington Crematorium at 3pm on Tuesday, February 5.
His coffin will be carried by his uncle Martin, sister’s boyfriend Daniel, his stepdad Adrian, best friend Adam and cousins Timon and Shaw. Oliver also leaves sisters Collette, Kirsty and Ruth, brothers Corban, Charlie and Jack, nan Norma, grandad Tony, aunt Samantha, and cousins Maddie and Evie.
Brain AVMs occur in roughly one person in every 200 to 500 of the general population.