A woman diagnosed with an incurable cancer is claiming she contracted the disease from her late husbands’ asbestos-laden clothes.
Vivienne Swain, 60, from Rochdale, has mesothelioma – a rare cancer known to be contracted from asbestos. She believes she came into contact with asbestos when washing her husbands’ work clothes that may have been exposed to asbestos dust and fibres while working.
First husband Michael Power worked as a joiner for Manchester City Council from 1969 to 1977.
Her second husband Peter Swain was also a joiner, and she believed he worked with asbestos while employed by Trains of Rochdale. Ms Swain’s solicitors are still trying to track down the firm’s insurers.
Burden of proof
Meanwhile, Manchester Council is calling on Ms Swain to prove that her first husband, Michael – who sadly died from a brain disease when he was in his early 40s – worked with asbestos during his eight-year employment term at the authority.
Speaking to ITV News, Ms Swain said: “This is going back 40 years, and now the onus is on me to prove that he worked with asbestos. I would shake the overalls before washing them and they would be heavy with dust – so much so that it would cover the kitchen floor. I’d have to sweep it up. I believe these were asbestos fibres.”
Mesothelioma is known as asbestos cancer – a rare form of the disease that is commonly linked to the toxic material and affects the lining of the lungs.
Ms Swain was diagnosed with the condition in 2015, although has never worked directly with the deadly mineral and cannot claim government compensation for asbestos victims.
After already undergoing four rounds of chemotherapy, she is now looking for the compensation to fund immunotherapy, a procedure not available on the NHS. She says the treatment could be her last hope.
Ms Swain, who has three grown-up sons, added: “What upsets me most is that I’m not only not going to be here for my own children, but for my grandchildren.
“I look forward all the time. I don’t look back…I don’t feel as if I have time for anger. I just feel passionate about raising awareness about mesothelioma.”
Source: ITV News
Date Published: March 3, 2017
Author: Jonathan Brown