Pontefract man with asbestos cancer thanks The Prince of Wales Hospice for 'amazing' care
A Pontefract man with asbestos-related cancer has thanked his local hospice for the “amazing” care provided to him during a recent stay.
David Hall, 76, was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a terminal cancer of the lining of the lungs most commonly associated with exposure to asbestos, often decades previously.
Following his diagnosis in September 2019, David, a dad-of-three, grandfather-of-three and great-grandfather-of-two, instructed asbestos-related disease experts at law firm Irwin Mitchell to investigate his illness.
Last month, a judgment was handed down which will provide David with an interim payment to ensure he has access to the specialist treatment and therapies he requires.
David was exposed to asbestos whilst working as an apprentice from 1962 to 1966. He recalls being exposed to asbestos dust due to working with asbestos sheets for fire doors.
David was also exposed to asbestos whilst working as a junior assistant foreman, having to ensure work on site was carried out to the relevant specifications and in accordance with the programme of works.
Asbestos sheets were used as ceiling tile panels and David was regularly exposed to dust created from fitting these tiles and from cleaning up on site.
As part of his ongoing treatment, David recently had an inpatient stay at The Prince Of Wales Hospice in Pontefract.
As a thank you for the care he received during his stay, David and his legal team made a donation of hand cream to the hospice, which is particularly needed at this time due to the protective requirements of hand sanitising and washing during the Covid-19 pandemic.
He is now joining with his lawyers in marking National Carers Week by raising awareness of the work hospices do to help mesothelioma sufferers.
Nicola Handley, an asbestos-related disease lawyer at Irwin Mitchell representing David, said: “David’s diagnosis is yet another reminder of the terrible legacy left behind by asbestos, with many people falling ill several decades after initial exposure has taken place.
“As he continues to come to terms with what his illness means for his future, we are pleased to have secured an interim payment to help him access any specialist treatment that he needs.
"David has recently been undertaking regularly physiotherapy sessions to ensure that he can stay fit for treatment and has also importantly been able to access swift psychological support to assist him in dealing with anxiety and distress that he is suffering from due to living with cancer.
“We were pleased to assist him with his donation to The Prince Of Wales Hospice after he expressed how grateful he was for the care and support they provided to him during his stay.
“Hospices do so much work for patients in the last stages of their lives, as well as providing vital in-patient support for patients and their families, and it’s lovely to recognise this.”
David’s wife Joy used to run a care home and although she is able to care for him at home, she has really valued the additional support from the hospice in managing David’s pain.
David said: “Being diagnosed with mesothelioma was such a huge shock for both me and Joy, and to know that my condition will only get worse over time is devastating.
“Thankfully, the treatment I’ve been receiving has had a positive effect on my symptoms, and during my stay at The Prince Of Wales Hospice, the team were so great. I was scared at first, but my initial fears disappeared as soon as I got there and met them.
“The care that hospices provide to their patients is amazing and I wanted to do something to show how grateful Joy and I were for the help and support.”
Diane Peters from The Prince of Wales Hospice said: “We would like to thank David for his very kind donation of hand cream, and the team at Irwin Mitchell for helping to facilitate it.
"Our nurses are extremely grateful for thoughtful gestures like David’s and the gift certainly put a smile on their faces.
"It was a privilege to care for David on our Incare ward, and we’re thrilled that the support he received has helped him to return home with his family.”