Samantha Miller, a 17 year old who studied hairdressing and beauty therapy at a college in Street, near Glastonbury, Somerset, bought her mobile handset two years before she was diagnosed with a deadly brain tumor that led to her demise.
Samantha, who was addicted to her phone, used to spend hundreds of pounds on ‘top-up’ cards every month, to keep in touch with her friends. Her parents, Janet, 39, and Phil, 58, are certain that the excess use of her mobile phone created the tumour that eventually killed her.
Samantha started complaining of headaches, ringing in the ears and a numb face almost a year after she got her phone. In January 2001 she was assigned to Yeovil hospital where her doctors discovered a highly malignant and ripe tumour in her brain. The specialist had asked Mrs Miller and her husband, if Samantha had a mobile phone. After one and a half years of battling with the disease she died. The family, including Samantha’s two brothers Simon, 19 and Gary, 12, and sisters Jenny, 15, and Mariah, 8, have withdrawn from their cell phones.
“Samantha was glued to her phone day and night chatting to friends and her boyfriend,’ her mother said, “She was a real chatterbox – very lively, healthy and outgoing – and that phone never stopped ringing. But she suddenly started getting headaches and went downhill very quickly. It was heartbreaking to watch. We are convinced she died because she spent so much time on the phone. I have lost a beautiful daughter. It is too late for her but I want others, especially children, to be aware of the dangers.”
“The phone had an antenna and where she held it to her head was where the tumour appeared. Holding a phone so close to your ear means all the radiation is going straight into the brain. There needs to be more research – everyone has a mobile phone these days and I don’t want anyone else to die as a result.” Mrs. Miller says.
Research by Dr Alan Preece at Bristol University has aided the claims of those who believe that mobile phone radiation is dangerous. A study of volunteers showed the emissions warm up the brain and alter reaction times. In another study, Dr Preece used squid to argue that human brains can be changed by electrical impulses. The squid changed colour when revealed to cell phones, violently flashing through the spectrum. They also showed slower reaction times.
One of the employers from mobile phone emission pressure group, Powerwatch, Simon Best, said the Millers’ story was becoming too familiar. ‘The amount of evidence that shows that mobile phone use is damaging is growing by the day,’ he said, “And as more and more people use their handsets for longer we expect cases like this to grow rapidly”