THE parents of a Sheffield Hallam University student who lost his brave battle against cancer at the age of just 27 have vowed to honour his memory with a fundraising campaign.
Stewart Palmer died from a desmoplastic small round cell tumour - a rare and aggressive mass in his abdomen which killed him in just 18 months.
Before his death the computer whiz-kid had been going through a complaint procedure with the city’s primary care trust, claiming he was turned away from the Student Health service - run by NHS Sheffield - when he first began showing symptoms.
When he visited a GP six months later in his home town of Grimsby, investigations showed he had cancer.
Stewart, who lived as a student in Broomhall, always maintained that had he been diagnosed earlier, the tumour - which in such cases are capable of doubling in size in just three months - would have been operable, in turn improving his prognosis.
The computing networks student spent his final days at the Castle Hill Hospital, in Cottingham, near Hull.
Now his devastated parents Kevin and Veronica Palmer, and little brother Craig, are preparing to hit the fundraising trail in his memory - donating the proceeds to a new young person’s unit at the facility.
Veronica, aged 53, wants to mark his life by helping to fund a special ward for young people who are considered too old to join teenage cancer patients.
She said: “Stewart fought bravely right to the end.
“He didn’t want to die and even in his last days he would think to the future.
“We are planning on making a donation to the hospital where he was treated.
“Although they did a great job, Stewart would often feel quite lonely and isolated because he was too old to be with the teenage patients and too young to be with the older patients.
“He would tell us it would be nice to have someone his own age to talk to, so we are hoping to help them create a small four or five-bed ward for people of a similar age to Stewart.”
Proud dad Kevin, 55, said they were determined to do something in memory of their “clever and committed” son, who was sadly unable to attend his own graduation ceremony in Sheffield because of his deteriorating health.
“Stewart left school with about 16 GCSEs, mostly As and Bs,” he said.
“He was a bright lad and we were very proud when he went to university.
“It was a shame we couldn’t get to the graduation, but the university is sending his certificate, which we will frame as a lasting tribute to him.”