More Than £12,000 Presented To Saint Michael’s Hospice
A Harrogate hospice has received a funding boost of more than £12,000 thanks to a significant donation made towards care received by a patient prior to his death from asbestos-related cancer.
Anthony Thompson from Knaresborough died in November 2017 aged 68, following a diagnosis of mesothelioma – a terminal cancer of the lining of the lungs most commonly associated with exposure to asbestos dust and fibres decades ago.
Prior to Anthony’s death, his wife Gina, 69, who worked at Saint Michael’s Hospice until recently, instructed specialist asbestos-related disease lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate his illness and how he could have been exposed to the substance.
The legal experts successfully secured a six-figure sum settlement from the insurers of J W Taylor Limited after it was determined that Anthony had most likely been exposed to asbestos during his employment there in the early 70s.
A landmark legal judgment secured in a previous case run by Irwin Mitchell allows for the costs of care to be recovered during a claim for asbestos exposure. As a result, Saint Michael’s Hospice in Harrogate has been presented with a cheque for £12,273, as a contribution towards the care provided to Anthony during his last months.
Oliver Collett, a specialist asbestos-related disease lawyer at Irwin Mitchell’s Leeds office, visited Saint Michael’s Hospice with Gina on 6 November to hand over the cheque.
Expert Opinion“Hospices are so very important to ensure that people are cared for during their last days, and to also support the families who are going through terribly difficult times.
Mesothelioma is a horrible disease to be diagnosed with, and Saint Michael’s Hospice did a great job in making Anthony as comfortable as possible towards the end of his life. Being able to make this generous donation helps the family say thank you and ensures that others can be helped in the future.”
Oliver Collett - Senior Associate Solicitor
Anthony was married to Gina for 13 years and the couple had six children by previous marriages, and 12 grandchildren.
Anthony first started to feel unwell in June 2016, and his symptoms became increasingly worse by September. In November, he underwent an operation at St James University Hospital in Leeds, where he had a drain inserted.
During 2017, Anthony was given several cycles of chemotherapy. In September, he went to Saint Michael’s Hospice where he spent his last weeks before passing away on 2 November.
Gina, who worked for the hospice as a housekeeper for more than 20 years before retiring, said: “Two years on we all still miss Anthony terribly. It was really difficult to watch him suffer the way he did towards the end of his life.
“He was such a loving husband, dad and grandad and our lives haven’t been the same since we lost him.
“Even though nothing will bring him back to us, we are grateful to be able to say thanks and give something back to the hospice that cared for him. The money will go towards helping other families that are going through what we have.”
Saint Michael’s is an independent hospice care charity which has been providing quality care and support to people living with terminal illness and bereavement for more than 30 years. The charity cares for adults in the Harrogate district living with any terminal illness, including heart failure, respiratory illnesses and neurological conditions, as well as cancer.
Each year, Saint Michael’s cares for thousands of people in their own homes, care homes and at the Harrogate-based hospice, with a personalised approach depending on individual needs. There is no charge for these services.
As an independent charity, Saint Michael’s relies on the generosity of the local community to raise the majority of funds needed to provide its vital services to local families. These include inpatient care to manage symptoms, day therapy, a community team offering practical and emotional support and advice, a home service supporting people at the end of their life, a patient and family support team, a volunteer visitor service, and a specialist bereavement support service open to children, young people and adults.
Find out more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in handling asbestos-related disease cases