Family Marks Awareness Day By Seeking Information On Tooting And Hitchin Hospitals
The grieving husband of a former nurse is appealing for help in establishing how she contracted the asbestos-related cancer which claimed her life.
Pamela Dudley was a nurse for many years including in Hitchin, Hertfordshire, and London.
The mum-of-four and grandmother-of-seven was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a form of terminal cancer linked to exposure to asbestos, last July. She instructed expert asbestos-related disease lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate.
However, Pamela, of the Shephall area of Stevenage, died in January aged 79 before she was able to find out the answers as to what caused her cancer.
Her husband Bill, aged 81, now wants to honour his wife’s memory by establishing the answers Pamela was unable to when she was alive.
He is marking Action Mesothelioma Day by joining his legal team at Irwin Mitchell to appeal for information about working conditions and the presence of hazardous asbestos at the hospitals where she worked.
The legal experts are specifically seeking information about the former Grove Fever Hospital and Fountain Hospital in Tooting, which merged to become St George’s Hospital in 1973, as well as at Hitchin Hospital from the late 1970s to 1990s.
Expert Opinion“This is yet another terrible case involving a person in which an individual has gone on to develop mesothelioma many years after it is believed that asbestos exposure took place.
“While contact with asbestos is very often linked to work in industrial environments, Pamela’s case is one of a growing number we are involved in linked to public buildings such as hospitals, schools and libraries.
“Pamela spent years helping others, and sadly was unable to find out in her lifetime what caused her illness. We are now determined to help her family and honour Pamela’s memory by establishing answers on their behalf.” Natalia Rushworth-White - Associate Solicitor
Born and raised in Stanmore, North West London, Pamela began her training to be a nurse in 1958. During this period she was based at the Grove Fever Hospital and Fountain Hospital, both in Tooting. The sites were eventually merged into a single entity – St George’s Hospital – in 1973.
Pamela married Bill in 1960. After taking time out from nursing to care for her own children, Pamela returned to the profession in the late 1970s and was based primarily at Hitchin Hospital until she retired in 1995.
She first started experiencing breathlessness in 2016. Last year her symptoms worsened so she visited her GP. She was sent for a chest X-ray in and following further tests diagnosed with mesothelioma in July.
Before her death she told her legal team at Irwin Mitchell she remembered there were several dark grey military-style huts outside the main Hitchin Hospital building that housed wards. She believes the huts could have been made of asbestos and pipes may have been lagged with the material.
Bill said: “None of us could believe when we were told Pamela had cancer. It was so difficult but especially for Pamela to try and come to terms with her diagnosis.
“She had so many questions about how she could have been exposed to asbestos and was determined for our family to find out. However, her condition quickly deteriorated.
“Pamela was the most loving and caring person who would do anything for anyone. Nothing was ever too much trouble for her. It was absolutely heart-breaking seeing her as the cancer took hold.
“The pain and grief we feel each day following her death is still extremely raw but we know we cannot change anything. We just hope that by people coming forward with information we can find the answers Pamela wanted to establish so much when she was alive.”
Anyone with information which may assist this case is asked to contact Natalia Rushworthwhite at Irwin Mitchell’s London office on 0207 421 3900 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Action Mesothelioma Day is on July 5. The day aims to raise awareness of the incurable disease, remember those affected by it and help fund research into finding a cure.