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Brain scan could have saved boxer's life, mother says

Mike Towell visited hospital for severe head pain weeks before his death.

Mike Towell: 'Begged' medics for a scan.
Mike Towell: 'Begged' medics for a scan. SNS

Boxer Mike Towell, who died following a fight, could have been saved if he had gone for a brain scan weeks before the bout, his mother has told a fatal accident inquiry.

Tracey Towell, 53, said her son went to Dundee's Ninewells Hospital on September 11, 2016, after having to stop during a sparring session in his Stirling gym.

The inquiry heard he was in agony, lying on the floor in pain in accident and emergency and, when seen by medics, "begged" for a scan.

Ms Towell told counsel Emma Toner if a scan had shown something was wrong he would not have continued boxing.

She said: "He loved his son very much, he would never have taken a chance like that."

Ms Towell was asked by counsel for NHS Tayside Mark Fitzpatrick if she or her son were able to judge whether a scan was an important factor in deciding whether or not he should box.

She said: "I felt it was important, he should have got a scan and it may well have saved his life and it would have stopped him boxing, yes."

Ms Towell was giving evidence at the inquiry at Glasgow Sheriff Court into the 25-year-old fighter's death.

Towell, known as Iron Mike, died of a bleed on the brain the day after he lost a bout in the fifth round to Welsh boxer Dale Evans on September 29, 2016.

The welterweight fighter collapsed after his loss to Evans in the British title eliminator at Glasgow's St Andrews Sporting Club.

He was given medical treatment in the ring before being taken to hospital but died 24 hours later on September 30.

The inquiry later heard from Towell's partner Chloe Ross, who said her boyfriend had a seizure in May 2016.

Ms Ross said the boxer woke up during the night "vibrating" and bit his tongue during the episode.

She was asked if she knew what was happening and said: "I assumed it was a seizure but I have never seen one before."

Ms Ross said she called medics, who took Towell to hospital for a check-up.

The inquiry was also told about about a sparring session in Edinburgh at the end of July 2016, when Towell was unhappy after going up against three separate fighters over eight rounds.

Ms Ross said: "I would say he started getting sore heads from then. I didn't realise it then but looking back it would be about from then."

The inquiry before sheriff principal Craig Turnbull continues.

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