Family’s Disney trip in grandad’s memory

Richard and Brenda Thompson
Richard and Brenda Thompson

DOTING grandad Richard Thompson’s wish that his grandchildren should get to Disneyland is to come true – but only after his tragic death from cancer.

Richard, who lived in Haxey, and worked for most of his working life at Thermal Insulation at the former ICI plant on Wheatley Hall Road Doncaster, finally lost his battle against the asbestos-related form of the disease four years ago.

But his widow, Brenda, said his main wish before he died in 2007 was to take his grandchildren to Disney World resort in Florida.

Unfortunately, his health deteriorated so quickly he was unable to fulfil his promise.

But now Brenda says she is planning to take the children to America in his memory, carrying out his last wish, after she was awarded £180,000 in compensation for his death.

The compensation comes after a coroner recorded a verdict that Richard died as a result of an industrial disease.

Richard started work at the Wheatley Hall Road site when he was 19.

During his time there as a lagger’s mate he was responsible for loading large sections of asbestos lagging onto the works van before using a handsaw to cut the lagging into smaller pieces.

He was initially diagnosed with a chest condition known as pleural plaques in 1998. Pleural plaques are scarring to the diaphragm caused by exposure to asbestos and confirm that asbestos has affected the lungs.

For people diagnosed with plaques, there is a risk they could also develop a more serious asbestos-related condition.

In 2007 Richard’s nightmare started to come true. He was becoming more and more breathless at work and had to be admitted to hospital. Doctors informed him he had cancer and probably had for some time.

Richard’s family said he became very ill very quickly and could no longer go to work.

He died due to asbestos-related lung cancer on August 13, 2007, aged just 60.

When he was alive, doctors were unsure about the cause of Richard’s symptoms. Richard was sure they were caused by his work as an asbestos lagger.

He had retained all his medical papers from his pleural plaques and made sure Brenda knew where they were.

Victoria Elves of Raleys Solicitors said: “Richard’s death was the tragic legacy of his unsafe workplace. We were determined to win compensation for Mrs Thompson.”

The coroner investigated Richard’s death and believed the lung cancer was caused by asbestos.

Brenda said: “I hope success in Richard’s case will encourage others to fight their claims.”