This month we’re featuring ‘Normans’ Story’. Norman’s wife Rose gives an intimate, heart-warming, no holds barred account of her late husband’s battle with mesothelioma.
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“Helena Cameron dealt with my claim for compensation following the death of my husband from mesothelioma. I am disabled and my husband was my main carer.
His illness and subsequent death meant that I have had to rely heavily on family to assist me and the high settlement obtained by Asbestos Justice reflected this.
They dealt with this sensitive matter in a caring and kind way dealing with all my questions. It was a drawn out case due to the defendant’s delays and I appreciate their determination in getting the best result for me.
I would not hesitate in contacting them in the future should I need further assistance. The service was excellent and I hope they keep doing what they already do so well!”
Plymouth has the highest rate of asbestos-related illnesses as a result of asbestos used in and around Devonport Docks.
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War Disablement Pension
Ex-servicemen and servicewomen who were exposed to asbestos dust before May 1987 are unable to sue the State for compensation when they develop an asbestos related disease due to the rule of “Crown Immunity”. Fortunately, there is still hope. If you were exposed to asbestos before 1987, you are entitled to claim a War Disablement Pension through Veterans UK.
Asbestos Justice explains how you can claim extra financial support for your time serving our country.
Am I eligible to claim?
If you are no longer serving in HM Armed Forces and you have a disability, physically or mentally, that you believe was caused or made worse during your time of service before 6 April 2005, then you are entitled to claim for a War Disablement Pension. There is no time limit for this type of claim; the only restriction is that you can only claim once your full service has ended.
How do I apply?
Applying for your War Disability Pension is made by filling out the correct form and posting this to Veterans UK.
The relevant application form can be downloaded, HERE.
Find out More
Visit our website for detailed information about eligibility for War Disablement Pensions
The Veterans Agency
Norcross, Blackpool, FY5 3WP. Tel: 0800 169 2277
The War Pensioners Welfare Service
Albert Bridge House, Bridge Street, Manchester, M60 9DF. Tel: 0161 831 2195
For those who have suffered exposure to asbestos in military service after May 1987 or were exposed to asbestos in a civilian capacity and go onto develop an asbestos related condition, you could be entitled to recover asbestos disease compensation. Contact Asbestos Justice on 0800 038 6767 for expert legal advice.
For further information on claiming DLA, please contact the benefits team at Asbestos Justice on 0800 038 6767.
Rose Fletcher recounts her late husbands’ diagnosis, treatment and fight with mesothelioma.
At the end of March 2010 we had just celebrated our 48th wedding anniversary, and had booked our annual trip to Wimbledon. Times were good.
In April of that year I was diagnosed with breast cancer and was to have major surgery in May. We came home from the hospital and sat together on the sofa. With tears in his eyes Norman said to me “I wish I could take it off you,” that’s how much I was loved by this wonderful man. How I wish he hadn’t said those words.
During May/June I had my surgery. Norman cared for me and helped me recover; just him being there meant everything to me. My goal was to go to Wimbledon and we had a wonderful time (it didn’t rain once).
July 30th. Our trip to see our daughter Diane. Norman and her husband John always played in the local pubs golf tournament. Norman came home early from the nineteenth hole which was very unusual. It was here our nightmare started. Norman had some problems whilst playing golf that day, but being Norman he played it down and carried on playing having to take frequent rests because he couldn’t catch his breath.
As it was late on a Friday night and we were not going home until the Sunday we didn’t do anything as he said he was ok.
August 2nd. Monday morning, Norman went to the doctors and I went to work. I was just doing a couple of hours here and there because I was still recovering from my surgery. The GP diagnosed Angina although the Electrocardiogram (ECG) he gave him was normal (how I wish I had gone with him). No chest x-ray was advised.
I worked in a GP Surgery at the time and I couldn’t understand why when Norman presented with shortness of breath symptoms, his doctor didn’t send him for a routine chest x-ray as this is the normal procedure. Norman was prescribed Glyceryl Trinitrate (GTN) tablets and referred to the rapid access chest pain clinic because he had a family history of Ischaemic heart disease (IHD).
August 17th. Norman presented at the surgery again complaining of epigastric pain and was given Gaviscon, but still no chest x-ray.
September 1st. Norman underwent an Angiogram which showed he had some blocked arteries and he was referred to a Cardiologist. There was talk of him having to have bypass surgery or a stent.
However, as Norman had suffered a brain haemorrhage in 1968 the Cardiologist wanted to see the medical records regarding this before he made any decision about surgery. There was more delay as his GP didn’t have Norman’s medical records up-to-date even though he’d been a patient for 40 years.
September 9th. Norman was seen by another GP at the Practice still complaining of shortness of breath on exertion. His blood pressure was still high so his medication was increased, but still no chest x-ray was advised.
October 8th. Norman was seen by another GP at the practice complaining of a dry cough. His chest was examined and reported as normal in his medical notes (still no chest x-ray) and he was prescribed cough linctus.
November 3rd. I was feeling very concerned about Norman because he had developed a dry cough. I thought it might have been his blood pressure medication but was advised that it didn’t have that side effect. So off to see his GP again with instructions from me to ask for a chest x-ray, which he did. BINGO! He was asked to go right back to his GP because he had pleural effusion, and this time I went with him. The GP was very sorry about the result and I could tell it was a serious diagnosis.
I blame myself everyday for not going with him to see his GP from the start, or to A&E when he first had symptoms in July. If I hadn’t been going through treatment for my own cancer and still coming to terms with the diagnosis, I might’ve been a bit more aware of Norman’s symptoms. But we trusted our GP’s and believed Norman had Angina, but he never needed to use the GTN tablets. Norman was seen by four different GP’s at the practice and only when we requested a chest x-ray did we finally know what was causing his shortness of breath. Norman had a pleural effusion right lung malignancy.
December 1st was the worst day of my life. Norman underwent Bronchoscopy and Video-assisted Thoracoscopic Surgery (VATS) with biopsy, four litres of fluid was drained from his chest. The diagnosis was definitely a malignancy which was inoperable. It was then that Mesothelioma was suspected. I can still see his face as he was given the diagnosis. He said “I’m sorry” to me, he looked so frightened.
I am so angry with the GP’s at our practice for letting my Norman down. If he hadn’t been diagnosed with Angina he might’ve been considered fit for surgery, as it was, we were told any surgery would probably kill him. Although I have worked in a GP practice for 16 years I had never come across Mesothelioma. I couldn’t even pronounce it at the time, now it just rolls off my tongue.
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Mr Faheez Mohamed is one of five Consultant Colorectal Surgeons in partnership at the Basingstoke Colorectal Centre. Mr Mohamed specialises in treating Peritoneal Mesothelioma. He qualified in medicine at St George’sHospital, London in 1989.
After gaining a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery at the University of Edinburgh Medical School in 1996, Mr Mohammed remained in the North East of England and continued into higher surgical training and was subsequently awarded a Doctor of Medicine at The University of Newcastle Upon Tyne in 2005 based on his research into intraperitoneal chemotherapy for the treatment of intra-abdominal cancer.
In September 2007 Mr Faheez Mohamed was granted the prestigious Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. Since gaining his fellowship this eminent surgeon has continued with his involvement in extensive research on peritoneal surface malignancy under the supervision of Dr Paul Sugarbaker, Washington DC, USA.
Mr Faheez Mohamed is currently Consultant Surgeon at the National Specialist Commissioning Group, Pseudomyxoma Peritonei Centre at the Basingstoke and North Hampshire Foundation Trust in addition to his partnership within the Basingstoke Colorectal at the Hampshire Clinic.
Arrange a consultation with Dr Mohamed at the centre by calling his private secretary, Clare directly on 01256 354747 – Option 1