Boxer Mike Towell ‘advised not to fight by doctors’ before fatal bout

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Boxer Mike Towell suffered a number of suspected seizures in the years before his death and was advised not to fight by doctors, a fatal accident inquiry (FAI) has heard.

Tracey Towell told the first day of the inquiry her son “lived for boxing” after taking up the sport when he was 12 or 13.

The 25-year-old, known as Iron Mike Towell, died in hospital the day after he was removed from the ring at the end of a fifth-round loss to Dale Evans in Glasgow on September 29, 2016.

The father, from Dundee, was diagnosed with severe bleeding and swelling to his brain but survived for 12 hours after being taken off life support at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow.

Mrs Towell, 53, said she first contacted doctors in May 2013 after twice finding her son had fallen out of bed and was confused.

She told the FAI at Glasgow Sheriff Court: “I thought he’d had a turn. He trained really hard and was on a strict diet. This seemed to happen after fights.”

Mrs Towell told fiscal depute Eileen Beadsworth she had cared for someone with epilepsy and did not think that was the cause of her son’s falls.

“It didn’t seem to be something I recognised,” she said.

“That’s why I wasn’t sure or if he was going out hard partying after fights.”

She added: “He trained very hard but after his big fights he would go out with all his friends.

“I was aware that he did take cocaine and binge drink after fights.”

Mrs Towell said her son maintained there was nothing wrong with him but medical records showed he was taken to hospital by his partner after another suspected seizure in September 2013.

Mr Towell attended a seizure clinic where the problem was noted as “complex partial seizures” and symptoms of epilepsy were recorded but an MRI scan was inconclusive.

He was told not drive or work at height and “strongly advised” not to box but he told doctors he would continue to do so.

Mrs Towell said: “Boxing was Michael’s life. It was so important to him. That’s what he lived for.”

Another issue recorded in his medical notes detailed a fall at his work as a scaffolder but Mr Towell told medical staff it was the result of a “sugar rush” while he was on a strict diet.

After being signed off work and sent to follow up doctor appointments Mrs Towell said her son became angry with her.

“He was livid with me, fuming,” she told the inquiry.

“He felt like I was trying to stop him boxing. He was livid with me because I was actually telling the doctor what was going on with him.”

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