A HEARTBROKEN widow is demanding answers amid claims asbestos exposure could have caused her husband’s death from lung cancer.
Teresa Morris, aged 75, says husband of 59 years Derek ‘died in my arms’ at their home on Helmsdale Lane, Great Sankey, in May last year.
It would have been their 60th wedding anniversary last week on Valentine’s Day.
He did not smoke and his death is being linked to periods working in factories where lethal asbestos may have been present.
She said: “He used to say different things about asbestos but I didn’t pay much notice because you don’t think something like this is going to happen to you.
“He would clean pipes and it would come off but he had no idea of the damage it would cause.
“He started complaining of pain in his back and doctors thought it was a water infection, then they thought it was arthritis.
“MRI scans showed asbestos in his lung.
“The phone call to say it was cancer shocked both of us.
“Derek thought he was just over weight, it was terrible for all of us.
“His body rejected chemotherapy and doctors said there was nothing else to do.
“After a couple of weeks, he gave up and died in my arms surrounded by our family.”
The ‘fun-loving’ holiday lover, who had three daughters, eleven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren, was employed in two factories in the town.
He worked in the maintenance department of Thames Board Mills in Arpley Meadows from 1958 to 1966.
The family man also worked at the Lever Brothers factory on Liverpool Road, Great Sankey, from 1966 to 1997.
Manchester law firm Pannone says asbestos exposure could have happened at one or both locations. It is considering legal action.
Mrs Morris says she is determined to find answers on why workers were not protected from asbestos, in her husband’s memory.
“Workers like Derek should have been warned about this but they weren’t told about the dangers,” she added.
“I just miss him being here, and I want other families who may have been affected to know.”
Patrick Walsh, from Pannone solicitors, said, “We know Derek Morris was exposed to asbestos at Thames Board Mills when he undertook asbestos insulation work.
“It is also possible that his work at Lever Brothers brought him into contact with asbestos and I would be most grateful if people who worked at either Thames Board Mills or Lever Bros could call me on 0161 909 6436 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org so that I can learn more about how widespread the use of asbestos was. All calls will be treated in the strictest confidence.”