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Wife’s nagging saved my life says former Thames defence worker
65 year old Peter Spillett from Chatham in Kent was persuaded to go his GP by his wife and two daughters after they noticed he was having problems with his hearing. The visit saved his life because the resulting minor operation to insert grommets and drain fluid also meant a routine biopsy was taken. It was this biopsy that revealed he had nasal cancer.
The former Thames Estuary river defence worker has now been awarded £70,000 in compensation, after his Solicitor, Pauline Chandler from law firm Pannone proved he had been negligently exposed to wood dust during the course of his employment.
‘I’m glad they nagged me!’
Said Peter, “If it hadn’t have been for my wife Margaret and two daughters, Wendy and Vanessa, I wouldn’t be here. To be honest they nagged me to go and see the doctor because they were sick of me not hearing what they said and turning the sound up on the TV all the time. When the cancer was discovered, my specialist said that if it had gone on untreated, it would have killed me within twelve months. I’m glad they nagged me!”
He continued, “I worked as a Timberman from 1984 to 2009. My job was to repair wooden jetties, piers and wharfs which were constructed mainly of hardwood.The timbers could be anything up to 80 years old and although some were below the water line, they could be 40ft of wood above it. We worked off a barge and cut damaged timbers out by chainsaw and if it was reusable, we cut it up on the boat into manageable sizes. Consequently there was a lot of sawing, planing, cutting and drilling of very old, very well-seasoned wood which created very fine dust that I inhaled.”
Commented his Solicitor, Pauline Chandler, a Partner and expert in industrial disease cases at the law firm, Pannone, “Many of those who develop nasal cancer do not realise that exposure to wood dust in the past may be the cause. People with this condition are therefore, dependent on their doctors asking about their work history and advising them that there might be a connection with the work they did.”
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