Appeal For Information About Working Conditions At Queen Elizabeth Hospital
The family of former nurse who worked at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham are appealing to her former colleagues for help following her death from an asbestos related-cancer.
Evadne Bell, aged 82, from Bartley Green in Birmingham, died from mesothelioma, a terminal form of cancer linked to exposure to asbestos, often decades earlier.
Shortly before she died, Evadne instructed specialist asbestos-related disease lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate her illness and help her determine how it occurred.
Following her death, Evadne’s granddaughter, Eleasha, now 39 is now continuing the investigation in her memory.
Eleasha has now joined her legal team ahead of this year’s Action Mesothelioma Day on Friday, 1 July, to appeal for information from her grandmother’s former workmates as to the working conditions she faced.
The family are keen to hear from anyone who worked at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital at the same time as Evadne, from 1964 to 1974.
Expert Opinion“Mesothelioma is an extremely aggressive, and sadly, terminal cancer caused by asbestos exposure decades before symptoms develop.
We often see cases like Evadne’s; where those diagnosed with the illness are unaware they are battling mesothelioma until the end of their lives. Evadne had a very short battle with mesothelioma before she died, and as a result, was unable to provide exact details of how she came into contact with asbestos.
Understandably, Evadne’s loved ones have been left devastated by her death and still have a number of questions about what caused her illness.
Many people associate asbestos with heavy industry its use was much more widespread. Thousands of public buildings including schools, offices and hospitals contained the material. We know that the old Queen Elizabeth hospital was full of asbestos. However, we need further information to assist us in this case.
Therefore, we would be grateful if anyone who worked at the Queen Elizabeth hospital at the same time as Evadne could come forward with information about the working conditions they faced. It could make all the difference in providing her family with the answers they deserve.”
Alida Coates - Partner
During her time at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Evadne was mainly based in West Ward 2 and West Ward 3 but provided cover on other wards throughout the hospital when they were short-staffed. Evadne’s role as an auxiliary nurse meant she was often in and out of storerooms and basements to collect supplies. However, her main responsibility was caring for patients who had been admitted to hospital.
Before her death Evadne recalled that during her time at the hospital, there were maintenance men carrying out work to the electrics. The men were fitting new electrics in the wards along the walls. Evadne also noted that due to the age and size of the hospital, there was further maintenance work going on in other wards of the hospital.
Evadne first began to feel unwell in September 2020. As her breathing continued to get worse, a biopsy was performed in November and Evadne was diagnosed with mesothelioma on 26 November 2020. Evadne died on 17 January, 2021.
Outside of work Evadne was an avid cook and loved to garden. She just loved to help other people.
Speaking about her grandmother and the appeal, Eleasha said: “My grandmother was an amazing woman. She was the heart and soul of our family and even now, it’s hard to come to terms with the fact she’s no longer with us.
“The love she had for us translated into her work as a nurse, her kindness and how much she loved helping people. It wasn’t just a job for her, but a way of life and she didn’t deserve to face this disease at the end of her life. It was such a horrible thing for someone who had given so much of herself to others over the years.
“As a nurse, she was a practical and hard-working and when she got her diagnosis, she approached it in the same way. She was determined to find out how she was exposed to asbestos, but the speed of the disease meant even that goal was taken away from her.
“If anyone can help us find out more, if they would come forward and help us it would mean a lot. It will give us a chance to get the answers and see our grandmother’s last wishes fulfilled.”
Anyone with information that could help Eleasha and the investigation is asked to contact Alida Coates on: 0121 214 5230, or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Held every year, Action Mesothelioma Day brings together victims of the disease, those who have loved ones affected, healthcare professionals, support groups and those working to understand mesothelioma and find a cure. The day aims to ensure the public are also aware of the terrible impact mesothelioma can have on sufferers and their carers.
Find out more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in handling asbestos-related disease cases