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‘We Could Have Had Him For Another 20 Years’: Daughter Fights to Raise Awareness After Asbestos Claims Life of Dad

‘We Could Have Had Him For Another 20 Years’: Daughter Fights to Raise Awareness After Asbestos Claims Life of Dad

A woman who lost her father ‘20 years too early’ to terminal cancer caused by deadly asbestos says people are still ignorant to the risks.    

Natalie Hazelhurst has dedicated the last eight years to raising awareness since mesothelioma claimed the life of her dad, Gordon Marriott, at the age of 70.

In the space of a year, the dad-of-three and grandad-of-nine went from an active lifestyle which saw him play golf every day to being crippled by an illness that left him unable to leave the house.

But despite its prevalence in homes, schools and other buildings constructed prior to asbestos being banned in 1985, Natalie says most people have little or no knowledge of the dangers it poses.

She said: “It became apparent after dad’s diagnosis that no one really knew what mesothelioma was yet around 2,500 people in the UK get the diagnosis every year.

“I’d never heard of it and even when it was explained, I convinced myself that dad would be the exception. He was so fit and healthy and that was the most shocking thing, to see him deteriorate so rapidly.

“He was such a strong character and he would have fought it if he could but with mesothelioma he wasn’t given that luxury.

“The coroner at his inquest said without it, all things being equal, that he would have lived into his late 80s which meant we could have had him for another 20 years.”   

Gordon, from Clayton Bridge, who was married to childhood sweetheart Christine for almost 50 years, is thought to have been exposed to asbestos through his work as an electrician. Following his diagnosis the family, including sons David and Christopher, took legal action against his former employer and have also spent the years since his death raising more than £50,000 for the Greater Manchester Asbestos Victims Support Group.     

Natalie, who lives in Chisworth with husband Chris and their four daughters, added: “My mum was 15 when they met. When he died her world fell apart but the support group helped put it back together. I don’t know what we would have done without them.

“We hold a golf day every year to celebrate his memory and to help them. Many people just come for the sport, but by the time they leave they understand a bit more about the illness and so I feel that we are making progress.”

The fifth annual Gordon Marriott Memorial Golf Day, supported by law firm Slater and Gordon, is on Friday, September 7, at Blackley Golf Club in Middleton. Entry is £40 per player including breakfast or lunch depending on the tee times, which run from 7.30am to 1.30pm, and a place at the evening presentation dinner and disco.   

For more details call Chris on 07917 633 935, email chazelhurst@sky.com or for details of the support group visit Asbestos Victim Support.

For further details about the types of asbestos and where it is found, please visit our blog.