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Mystery As Asbestos Cancer Takes Man’s Life

A distraught mother broke down yesterday after she told how her young son died from a rare form of cancer normally associated with exposure to asbestos fibres.

Thomas Harry Martin, 28, recently passed away after suffering from malignant mesothelioma, which is normally the cause of death of older workers who have been exposed to asbestos fibres a number of years earlier.

However, a post mortem examination carried out on Thomas found no evidence of asbestos in his lungs, an inquest in Huddersfield heard yesterday.

His mother Pamela Martin, a retired teacher from Holmfirth, described how her son had spent two years living and working in Australia before returning to England and working in Norfolk and then in Newcastle, as a barman.

He had been healthy and fit but recently told his family that he had been feeling tired.

Whilst on a trip to Dublin in February 2012, Thomas told his mother that he had not felt well enough to drink any Guinness.

A doctor immediately referred Thomas to a hospital in Newcastle.

Mrs Martin said: “Thomas did not look at all well. He was told, one week later, that he was suffering from mesothelioma. I was devastated and Thomas could not believe it.”

In September 2012 Thomas decided he wanted his independence back but a month later had to go into hospital. Although he went back home his condition suddenly deteriorated and he had to be admitted to Kirkwood Hospice in Huddersfield.

He died peacefully on 12 November 2012.

Mrs Martin told the hearing there did not seem to be an answer to what had caused the disease.

Dr Philip Batman, who conducted the post mortem examination, suggested a gene mutation as a cause but this was only a possibility.

Mrs Martin said the absence of asbestos in her son’s lungs had provided some comfort to her and her son’s four siblings that they were not in any danger from previous exposure to asbestos.

Outside court, Mrs Martin said her son had been diagnosed with mesothelioma a year ago this week. She added: “It’s a vile disease. As a family, with four other children, I guess we are relieved that it’s not asbestos.”

Asbestos Insurance 2013

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