When Sean Walsh was advised his most cancers had returned, he rejected typical remedy. A widely known determine on Liverpool’s music scene, he documented his seek for alternative routes of managing his situation for his followers.
He additionally used thermography, warmth photographs of the physique, that are promoted by some as a substitute for typical scans.
However they did not warn Sean his most cancers was spreading. He died, aged 23, final 12 months.
Sean’s mum, Daybreak, says he all the time had one thing about him.
“Even when he was little, he’d all the time be, like, doing the peace indicators and stuff, his gown sense and his hair, and his music and every part, how eccentric he was.
“He did not care what folks thought, you already know, he’d stroll down Daring Avenue with, like, a fur coat on and he simply did not care.”
Sean was well-known in Liverpool as a singer and guitarist together with his band The Haze.
However the images of the younger musician do not inform the complete story of the impression that severe sickness had on his life.
He was first recognized with Hodgkin lymphoma, a kind of blood most cancers, when he was nonetheless an adolescent – a horrible second that Daybreak nonetheless remembers.
“You simply do not think about that your baby goes to have most cancers, it simply does not enter your head does it?
“He needed to begin six months of chemotherapy and it was grotesque on him.
“He acquired by that and we thought, ‘That is it, he’ll get on together with his life’.”
Sadly, that wasn’t it in any respect.
Lower than two years later, Sean and his household obtained devastating information – the most cancers had returned.
He was suggested that, with extra chemotherapy and stem cell remedy, he stood a 50% probability of long-term survival. However he simply could not face it.
Sean determined to deal with the most cancers himself, immersing himself in different therapies and the web world of most cancers conspiracy theories.
He radically modified his weight loss plan, turning into vegan and consuming a lot of uncooked meals and taking dietary supplements and nutritional vitamins.
Sean’s girlfriend, Aimee McDonald, remembers how Sean began documenting his journey on social media.
She says he was a little bit of a star.
“He acquired, like, 1000’s of followers on Fb and stuff and views on his movies and it was nearly like an echo chamber on the web, all these folks, like, reinforcing his concepts.”
In a Fb video, Sean celebrated what he believed was the success of his different remedy regime.
“As you’ll be able to see, that is actually working, that is therapeutic my physique.
“Chemotherapy, I’ve already had it, it executed me no good.
“Does it make sense to poison your self again to good well being?
“It does not, it is nuts, it is insane, why would you poison your self again to good well being?”
‘Satisfied most cancers was gone’
Sean was additionally having scans at a clinic – Medical Thermal Imaging – run by a pair known as Philip and Rosa Hughes.
Philip Hughes, a homeopath, had beforehand advised Sean’s mother and father he’d efficiently handled Rosa for breast most cancers.
Daybreak went alongside to Sean’s first appointment.
“Phil was simply speaking all about how damaging chemotherapy is, you already know, on the human physique… saying, ‘I’ve had a lot of folks come to my clinic, however by the point I get them, they’re shot with all this chemotherapy, so I can not assist them’.”
Thermography makes use of an infrared digital camera to take warmth footage of the physique.
It’s authorized to supply it, however the NHS warns: “There is no such thing as a proof that thermography is an efficient means both to check for most cancers or monitor its remedy.”
Final 12 months, the US Meals and Medication Administration warned: “Thermography shouldn’t be used rather than mammography to detect, diagnose or display screen for breast most cancers.”
It’s typically promoted as a substitute for mammograms.
“After which he was speaking all about how one can change your weight loss plan, which may reverse most cancers.
“He’d stated that Rosa had developed breast most cancers.
“She’d had a lump in her breast, and she or he determined to not do hospital remedy, and she or he was going to, you already know, reverse the most cancers herself.
“So clearly Sean’s listening to this considering, ‘Properly, if one individual’s executed it, after which I am listening to different little tales off them, I can do that’.”
It is authorized to supply the scans, however the NHS warns there is no proof that thermography is an efficient solution to take a look at for most cancers or monitor its remedy.
And Sean’s scans did carry a disclaimer, stating that thermography doesn’t see or diagnose most cancers and recommending additional scientific investigation.
However the scan outcomes appeared reassuring – and Sean was satisfied his most cancers had gone.
Medical Thermal Imaging describe their scans as “100% protected and radiation-free”.
To search out out extra concerning the service the Hughes have been providing, a BBC reporter went to the clinic the place Sean had his scans, posing as a affected person who’d discovered a lump.
They have been seen by Rosa Hughes, who had supplied scans for Sean.
Rosa advised our reporter that when she went to the breast clinic to have her lump investigated, she ought to have an ultrasound somewhat than a mammogram. It is a transcript of what she stated:
“Not a mammogram, as a result of you are going to get radiated, and it’ll squash… and the quantity of ladies which have had their tumours, the tumour burst, that spreads most cancers.”
We requested most cancers specialist Prof Andrew Wardley, of Manchester’s Christie Hospital, to evaluate the medical claims Rosa Hughes made to our reporter.
“That is preposterous. You do not burst tumours, they’re stable.
“You do squash the breast right down to do a mammogram, it’s disagreeable however it’s a short-term factor.
“You don’t unfold most cancers by doing a mammogram, that is a whole fallacy.”
Rosa and Philip Hughes say they “totally reject” the allegation that they gave Mr Walsh inappropriate recommendation.
They added they’d “constantly made clear” that thermography can solely be used alongside different checks, reminiscent of MRIs or mammograms.
At first Sean believed he had cured his personal most cancers.
However tragically Sean was unsuitable.
Regularly his well being declined, till he was rushed to hospital in Liverpool the place medical workers discovered he had a number of tumours in his abdomen and chest.
He did finally obtain chemotherapy however it was too late.
Sean died in January 2019.
Daybreak believes the thermographic scans gave Sean false hope.
She says: “You are susceptible once you’ve acquired most cancers. You are seeking to remedy your self, put your self in remission no less than, or spend as a lot time together with your family members.
“And you’re going to consider sure people who find themselves truly making a living out of the most cancers trade, by susceptible folks.”