Family appeals for information after Derbyshire dad’s asbestos-related death

The family of a former lab assistant from Tibshelf is making a heartfelt plea to former work colleagues for information following his death from asbestos-related disease.

By Lucy Roberts
Monday, 18th January 2021, 12:44 pm
Laurie Wood
Laurie Wood

Laurie Wood died in March last year, aged 73, four months after he was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the lung associated with exposure to asbestos, often decades previously.

Following Laurie’s death, his Widow, Brenda, 68, instructed specialist asbestos-related disease lawyers to investigate his illness and if it was linked to his work history.

The family has now joined the legal team in appealing to any former workmates who remember Laurie from his time as a lab assistant with Explosives and Chemical Products Limited in Alfreton in the 1960s.

Roger Maddocks, asbestos-related disease specialist supporting the family, said: “Laurie’s death is yet another terrible case of asbestos exposure which vividly highlights the impact that asbestos-related diseases like mesothelioma have on the whole family.

“Before he died, Laurie was able to provide some information on where he may have encountered asbestos during his working life. We’re now keen to create a fuller picture about the conditions he may have faced.

“Nothing can bring Laurie back but understanding what happened to a much loved husband will bring the family the answers they need and the closure they deserve.

“Any detail really could make all the difference.”

Laurie worked as a lab assistant in the firework factory of Explosives and Chemical Products in Venture Crescent, Nixs Hill, Somercotes, Alfreton, between 1964 and 1967.

Laurie started to feel unwell in June 2019 with a stomach ache and was unable to eat or drink very much. He was referred for blood tests and CT scan before receiving the official diagnosis of peritoneal mesothelioma.

Laurie’s treatment consisted of high-dose systemic chemotherapy bt unfortunately he deteriorated quickly.

Laurie’s Widow Brenda said: “Laurie’s diagnosis was a bolt from the blue. Neither he nor I could imagine where he could have come into contact with asbestos.

“We would be so grateful if anyone who remembers Laurie could help us fill in the blanks. He was a wonderful father and husband. He didn’t deserve to face this disease and suffer like he did at a time when he should’ve been enjoying his retirement.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Megan Gascoigne at Irwin Mitchell on 0191 434 0708 or email [email protected]​​​​​​​.