Family Donate Money In Grandad-of-Four’s Memory To Mark ‘Hospice Care Week’
A hospice has received a £16,700 funding donation boost after specialist lawyers recovered costs related to the care the charity provided to a grandad before his death from asbestos-related cancer.
Richard Pickles, of Bingley, died from mesothelioma, a terminal cancer of the lining of the lung often associated with exposure to asbestos.
Prior to the plumber and heating engineer’s death, Richard and his wife of 44 years, Julie, 67, instructed expert asbestos-related disease lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate his exposure. The family’s legal team secured justice and a settlement against four of the dad-of-two and grandad-of-four’s former employers.
In addition, a previous landmark judgment secured by Irwin Mitchell also meant that the family’s legal team could recover costs related to the care that Richard received from Sue Ryder Manorlands Hospice in Oxenhope, Keighley. As a result, Julie has now donated around £16,700 to the charity.
The donation has been made to mark ‘Hospice Care Week’ which recognises the work hospices carry out in supporting families.
Since the beginning of 2021 alone, Irwin Mitchell has recovered more than £212,000 to support the work of hospices following legal cases where patients have died from mesothelioma.
Expert Opinion“Hospices are vital in providing frontline care to almost 250,000 vulnerable people and their relatives each year at a very sensitive and emotional time for families. Despite ongoing care and funding pressures connected to the Covid-19 pandemic they continue to carry out amazing work.
As such we’re delighted to have been able to recover these costs on behalf of Julie, allowing the family to say thank you to Sue Ryder Manorlands Hospice.
However, we also hope that this case and the pain and suffering Richard and his family had to endure acts as a warning to the dangers of asbestos and the need to employers to ensure their protect their staff at all times.”
Oliver Collett - Senior Associate Solicitor
Richard left the former Bingley Secondary Modern School aged 15 in 1962, becoming an apprentice plumbing and heating engineer.
Over the years he worked for a number of companies across the district, working in houses and industrial premises.
After retiring, Richard, fell ill in 2016. Following a number of tests, he was diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome, a serious neurological condition, which affected his mobility.
Richard was making good progress from the condition. However, during a hospital scan in 2016 doctors noticed a nodule on his lung. Following further tests Richard, a Bradford City season ticket holder, was diagnosed with mesothelioma in September 2016.
He underwent chemotherapy to give him more time with his family, including Julie and their children Marc Pickles and Joanne Jackson.
However, as his condition deteriorated and doctors gave him weeks to live he spent six weeks in Sye Ryder Manorlands Hospice in spring 2018. However, Richard defied doctors’ predictions. The hospice then arranged for him to be transferred to a nursing home.
Richard died in January 2019.
Julie, a former hair stylist, said: “It was awful seeing how the cancer affected Richard. He was six foot and weight 17 stone but following his diagnosis he lost around four stones in three months.
“As time went by, he became more and more reliant on others for care. He was still at home but it was becoming more difficult to give him the care and dignity he deserved so someone suggested we spoke to Manorlands.
“At such a terrible and distressing time for our family everyone at the hospice was wonderful. They showed us so much empathy and compassion and provided the best care they could for Richard which we’ll always be grateful for.
“Initially it was respite care but they then arranged for Richard to be transferred to a nursing home. I would visit him every day as his condition continued to deteriorate. The doctors said he only had so long to live but his determination would outlive those predictions until the final time when he was too poorly to carry on.
“Life hasn’t been the same since Richard’s death. We had so many plans for the future and planned on spending many years together. However, that all changed when Richard was diagnosed with mesothelioma.
“We know nothing can make up for what happened but we’re so proud of the fight Richard showed until the end and are so thankful to Manorlands for all the help and support they gave us at such a dark time.
“The donation is just our way of saying thank you and trying to give something back. We hope that this money means others will get the same quality support that Richard had.”
Sue Ryder Manorlands Hospice provides expert palliative care, advice and support to people living with life-limiting conditions across Wharfedale, Airedale, Bradford and Craven, as well as supporting their families. Community fund-raising manager, Andrew Wood, said: “We’re so grateful for this significant donation, which will make a huge difference in helping us to be there when it matters. We remain heavily reliant on individuals donating and fund-raising for us, and every pound will help us to continue to offer our compassionate care and support to local people and their families, and fill someone’s last days with love.”
Hospice Week runs from 4-8 October. For more information visit www.hospiceuk.org/
For more information on the services provided by Sue Ryder Manorlands Hospice, visit sueryder.org/manorlands.
Find out more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in handling asbestos-related disease cases