30 June 2016
Heartbroken Widow’s Appeal Over Husband’s Death Just Months After Being Diagnosed With Asbestos-Related Cancer
A grieving widow whose husband died of cancer caused by deadly asbestos dust is appealing for help from his former colleagues.
Christine Nolan hopes workmates of Michael, who died in October aged 65, will be able to answer questions about when and where he was exposed.
The couple, from Waterloo in Liverpool, had been looking forward to spending their retirement together, but just days after her 60th birthday the dad-of-four passed away.
“The last photo we had taken together was us sitting on the couch blowing out the candles on my birthday cake. I had nine more days with him after that, he just went so quickly,” she said.
“Our daughter Emma was due to get married this year, but brought her wedding forward to last July.
“We were grateful for that at least, that he got to walk his daughter down the aisle, but looking back at the photos you can see how ill he really was.”
Michael was born in Ireland, the youngest of eight children, and moved to London to join his older brother when he was 18.
He worked for Strand Palace Hotels between 1968 and 1970, based at the Cumberland Hotel in Marble Arch where he had a job in the basement laundry.
After leaving, he travelled to Liverpool where he worked as a machine operator for five years, making parts for telephone exchanges at Plessey’s on Edge Lane.
He was a bus driver for London Transport from the late 1970s to early 1980s before moving again to Liverpool, where he did the same job until 2001 for Merseyside Passenger Transport Executive.
From 2003, he was employed as a driver for Vauxhall Lookers although he had been unable to work for several months prior to his death.
Christine, 60, said: “He would’ve carried on because he loved the job, but his illness meant he couldn’t really do anything without becoming breathless and tired.
“He couldn’t climb the stairs and could only walk short distances. He had difficulty sleeping, he was unable to lie down and was uncomfortable propped up. Michael lost his appetite and became very thin.
“He was not a sickly man – only the occasional cold – and I think that’s why it knocked us for six. I had never heard of mesothelioma before.
“It’s a horrible disease and I would like to know how it happened.
“I miss him terribly. He was a lovely man, we had a lovely marriage and I hold on to that, but it still doesn’t make losing him any easier to accept.”
Michael had instructed lawyers prior to his death and Christine is now determined to continue his fight.
Kevin Johnson, an industrial disease specialist at law firm Slater and Gordon, said: “The dangers of asbestos have been known by employers for many years and what we are trying to establish is if more should have been done to protect Michael.“
Anyone who worked with Michael and has information which they think may help is asked to call Kevin Johnson at Slater and Gordon on 0151 353 9930 or email Kevin.Johnson@slatergordon.co.uk.
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