Loved Ones and Lawyers Appeal For Information About Hospital Construction Work
The long-term partner of a former operating theatre designer and engineer is appealing for information to help resolve how he encountered deadly asbestos that claimed his life.
Peter Matthews, from Horsham, West Sussex, was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the lung commonly linked to asbestos exposure, often decades previously. He died in November last year, having suffered 13 months of horrific pain and distress. Up to that point he was still a very active man enjoying good quality of life.
Lawyers investigate hospital worker's asbestos exposure
Following Peter’s death, aged 90, his partner of 45 years, Brenda French, instructed a law firm to investigate how Peter was exposed to asbestos.
However, Brenda then asked expert asbestos-related disease lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to take over her case.
She and her legal team at Irwin Mitchell are now marking Action Mesothelioma Day on 2 July by appealing to anyone who can help verify how Peter came into contact with asbestos.
West Sussex family's mesothelioma appeal
As part of their efforts, they are keen to hear from anyone who may have worked with Peter during his employment at Calmic Ltd in the early 1970s. The company was a subsidiary of The Wellcome Trust Foundation, which Peter joined in the mid-1970s.
Expert Opinion"Brenda and the rest of Peter’s family are understandably devastated by their loss and continue to have many questions regarding Peter’s exposure to asbestos.
“While many people often associate the use of asbestos in heavy industry its use was also widespread in many public buildings such as hospitals, schools and offices.
“Before he died, Peter said how he believed exposure may have occurred during his time at Calmic and The Wellcome Foundation. He was involved in the design, development and launch of a pioneering and innovative modular operating theatre pod.
“Peter’s role included pre-installation and hospital site inspections. He often worked on old wards where he’d check walls and ceilings. Those ceilings featured white tiles that had to be removed and often in those days tiles such as these contained asbestos.
“As a result, we would be keen to hear from anyone who might have worked with Peter or who had any involvement at all with the installation of these operating theatres within NHS hospitals – specifically Mile End Hospital in London, King Edward VII Hospital in Midhurst, West Sussex and Bournemouth General Hospital in Dorset.
“Peter’s death is a reminder of the terrible legacy asbestos has created and how it has affected, and continues to affect, so many lives.” Lacey St James - Associate Solicitor
Mesothelioma: Peter Matthews' story
Peter’s partner Brenda, 82, was with him for 45 years. She was also his full-time carer up until he died.
Looking back at his illness, she said: “It was incredibly difficult to see how mesothelioma affected Peter and it is still so hard to come to terms with the fact he is no longer here.
“Peter was my best friend and soulmate. We were inseparable and did everything together. He was taken from me before his time.
“That he is no longer here leaves a huge void. To see him at the end as the cancer got the better of him and watching his suffering intensify daily was just devastating. H He became a shadow of his former self .
“I’d be so grateful to anyone who can offer any information at all or who may have known someone who could possibly help.”
How to help following hospital worker's asbestos cancer death
Anyone with information should contact Lacey St James at Irwin Mitchell 0203 040 3445 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Action for Mesothelioma Day is held to raise awareness of the risks of asbestos and the impact that related illnesses have on lives.
Find out more about our expertise in supporting families following a diagnosis of mesothelioma at our dedicated asbestos-related disease section. Alternatively to speak to an expert contact us or call 0370 1500 100.