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Sam Spent Her Life On Her Mobile. Did It Cost Her Life?
Western Daily Press
June 14, 2002

The mother of a teenage girl who died from a brain tumour blamed her death last night on radiation from her mobile phone.

Pretty Samantha Miller, 17, spent nearly every waking moment on her handset chatting to pals and her boyfriend.

But within a year the bubbly beautician was complaining of crippling headaches and was losing all sensation down her left side.

Samantha was finally diagnosed with the most severe form of brain tumour - on the left side of her head where she held the phone to her ear.

Her heartbroken mum, Janet, 39, wept:

"Samantha was glued to her phone day and night chatting to friends and her boyfriend.

"She was a real chatterbox - very lively, healthy and outgoing - and that phone never stopped ringing.

"But she suddenly started getting headaches and went down hill very quickly. It was heartbreaking to watch.

"I am convinced she died because she spent so much time on the phone.'' Samantha, who was studying hair and beauty at college in Street, Somerset, bought the handset two years ago.

Janet revealed Samantha would spend "hundreds'' of pounds every month on "topup" cards and would text her many friends dozens of times each day.

But Samantha went to the doctors in January 2001 to be treated for constant headaches, "singing ears'' and lack of sensation down her left side.

She was referred to Yeovil hospital and her mum and dad Phil, a 58-year-old former coach driver, were devastated when she was diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme.

The condition has four grades of severity - Samantha had the most severe form and was warned she had little chance of survival.

The specialist asked Janet if Samantha had a mobile phone but didn't speculate on whether this could have caused the tumour.

During her final weeks wheelchair-bound Samantha was paralysed down her left side before she died on May 28 at Littlebridge hospital in Barnstaple.

Housewife Janet, of Yeovil, Somerset, added: "Holding a phone so close to your ear means all the rays are going straight to the brain.

"I have lost a beautiful daughter - it is too late for her - but I want others - especially children - to be aware of the dangers.

"Since this happened to Samantha our whole family has stopped using mobile phones.

There needs to be a lot more research.

"There are also concerns about hands-free sets - everyone has a mobile phone these days and I don't want anyone else to die as a result.'' Dr Alan Preece of Bristol University has called for more research into the dangers of mobile phones - used by 13 million people in Britain.

The medical physicist of 26 years conducted a study on 36 volunteers at Bristol Royal Infirmary a year ago funded by a 3,000 Government grant. He concluded that exposure to cellular radiation heats the brain and alters reaction time.

Another study he carried out on squid concluded that human brains, like squid, are altered by electrical impulses.

Squid changed colour when exposed to a mobile phone, violently flashing through the spectrum, and also showed slower reaction times. Samantha's funeral will take place next Wednesday, on what would have been her 18th birthday.

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