An East Riding grandson says he is desperate for answers after his grandmother died as a result of washing her husband's overalls.

Hazel Foottit passed away in 2017 at the age of 84. An inquest found the cause of her death to be "industrial disease" which is believed to have stemmed from washing her husband Terrence's clothes.

He worked as a hospital engineer at Castle Hill which involved working amongst pipes covered in asbestos.

Mrs Foottit was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a cancer commonly associated with exposure to asbestos, several decades ago, which is believed to be as a result of coming into contact with asbestos contained within Terrence's workwear.

The illness meant the couple, who had been married for more than 50 years, had to spend much of the last part of their lives apart.

Hazel's husband worked at Castle hill Hospital
Hazel's husband worked at Castle hill Hospital

Clinical investigations explained how she had not been exposed to asbestos to her knowledge, but described her husband's role at the hospital.

He passed away shortly after Hazel, leaving their grandson, Joe Harrison, to continue the fight on their behalf.

Appealing for answers to how his grandma died, Mr Harrison said: “Sadly my grandmother’s life was cut short and I lost two grandparents in a very short time.

“It is still hard to believe that they are both gone and I miss them both greatly.  I was very close to my grandparents as my mother passed away several years earlier.

"I only hope know to get the answers that we need in order to prove how my grandmother developed the devastating disease.

“I would appreciate any help or information from my grandfather’s former colleagues in order to assist us in finding out just how he became exposed to asbestos.”

Watch: The dangers of asbestos

Joe has teamed up with Irwin Mitchell Solicitors in his fight for justice.

He is "desperate for answers" and has launched an appeal for others who worked at the hospital at the time as a heating engineer, pipefitter or plumber to come forward to help build their case.

Nicola Handley, the specialist asbestos lawyer at Irwin Mitchell who is representing Joe, said: “This is sadly yet another example of the devastating consequences of asbestos exposure.

"Hazel was Terrence’s main carer and it was devastating for Terrence to lose her to such a deadly disease when he needed her the most.

“Mesothelioma is a very devastating form of mesothelioma where the tumour forms on the lining of the abdomen. Hazel had great discomfort once the disease started to develop and was unable to eat as the disease progressed.

"She required inpatient care in hospital as Terrence was unable to look after her and they were both saddened that after over 50 years of marriage they were separated at this time.

“Joe remains desperate for answers regarding how Terrence and consequently Hazel were both exposed to asbestos and if it could have been avoided. We would be hugely grateful to anyone who may be able to help us as we continue to examine Terrence’s work history.”

Anyone with information should email [email protected].

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