Neil’s story

Neil Whitfield, father of six:

“In 1996 I was promoted to Sales Manager at work and issued with a mobile phone. My job required me to use it heavily and after a few months of getting the phone I had to visit my GP as I was suffering from severe headaches. The doctor advised me that they were probably caused by driving long distances for work and to take painkillers.
The headaches persisted, accompanied by fatigue and memory loss. When my hearing started to deteriorate in my left ear, I went for tests.

When the specialist put the negatives of the scan onto the light box, a tumour on my brain showed up behind my left ear – the side that I used the phone on. The specialist asked if I’d ever used a mobile phone and when I said yes, he replied that mobiles might be “the smoking of the 21st century”.

I was given five years to live without surgery so underwent an invasive nine-hour operation. I wouldn’t use my phone after that and was made redundant.  I am completely deaf in my left ear, which affects my balance, and still get headaches and facial twitches. I find it difficult to be in large groups or noisy environments which leaves me feeling isolated.
I have since found out that the phone companies know that there’s evidence that mobile phones might cause brain tumours. I’m angry that they don’t warn the public. As my phone was a Nokia, I’ve contacted them but they won’t answer my questions.”