Mesothelioma Widower Joins Anti-Asbestos Campaign

by Sokolove Law

A retired United Kingdom painter, whose wife died from mesothelioma cancer, has been inspired to back an asbestos awareness campaign. His wife contracted the disease after decades of washing his asbestos-covered overalls.

“I should have had it — not my wife,” 85-year-old Eric Ward told the BBC News. “It should have been me. My missus got really upset over it, because in her opinion, she shouldn’t have had it in the first place.”

As this blog reported, Ward lost his wife Valerie, 78, only weeks after she was diagnosed with mesothelioma. The cause, according to a recent ruling: industrial disease from asbestos exposure. Valerie Ward was exposed almost daily as she shook out her husband’s and son’s asbestos covered overalls and washed them. The two men had worked at a power station during the 1970s and 1980s, when asbestos use was common.

Now Ward and his daughter say they will campaign for more awareness about asbestos. This mineral caused more than 100,000 deaths worldwide in 2004 alone, according to the World Health Organization. Once used indiscriminately in thousands of products, asbestos was phased out of use starting in the 1970s after it was proven to cause a number of deadly illnesses, including mesothelioma.

In his interview, Ward expressed regret over the tragic situation: “When you think about it, you killed your wife by bringing stuff home that you shouldn’t have done. The wife would do all the washing, she would shake the overalls out and then put it in the washing machine.”

Valerie Ward’s family received compensation for her mesothelioma. The Wards donated the sum to the cancer charity that cared for her in its hospice.

Although many think of mesothelioma as a disease that affects only workers, it actually kills indiscriminately, as Valerie Ward’s story reveals. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or any asbestos-related condition, call Sokolove Law today. Our experienced asbestos attorneys can help you recover compensation to help pay medical bills and other expenses.

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