Demolition worker's plea for answers after finding he has asbestos-linked terminal cancer

A grandfather who is terminally-ill is pleading for answers on the asbestos-linked cancer set to claim his life.

Thursday, 3rd October 2019, 12:45 pm
Updated Thursday, 3rd October 2019, 1:57 pm
Barry Nelson, who is searching for answers from an Otley-based demolition firm he worked for as to how he may have come into contact with asbestos

Time is ticking for 74-year-old Barry Nelson, who has been diagnosed with mesothelioma - a cancer linked to historical exposure to asbestos.

Grandfather-of-four Barry is reaching out to anyone he worked with at an Otley-based demolition company in the 1960s who may be able to provide answers as to how he could have come into contact with the deadly material.

Solicitors acting on behalf of Barry also say they are "determined" to find answers "before it's too late", and are looking into whether the incurable cancer is linked to his time working for A Ogden & Sons between 1962 and 1970.

Barry Nelson in 1967, when he was working for A Ogden & Sons demolition company

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Barry, who is from Darlington and worked on the Leeds firm's demolition of Bowburn Colliery near Durham, said: "I think I deserve answers."

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“Being diagnosed with mesothelioma was a huge shock. While I have tried to come to terms with my diagnosis but the cancer is affecting me more and more every day.

“I have so many questions about how I could have been exposed to asbestos and I think I deserve answers, not just for me but for my family.

Barry Nelson has terminal cancer which may have been caused by exposure to asbestos

“It can’t change what has happened to me, but hopefully by having my old colleagues come forward, it will enable my family to understand why this happened and how."

Barry's cancer was diagnosed after he began to suffer from chest problems and a pain in his ribs towards the end of 2016.

Roger Maddocks, who is a lawyer for Irwin Mitchell who has expertise is asbestos-related diseases, said: "This is sadly yet another devastating case in which someone has seemingly been exposed to asbestos during their work, with the consequences of that contact only becoming clear many years later.

Barry Nelson in 1972

"While sadly the doctors cannot do anything for Barry with regards to curing his cancer we are determined to help Barry discover how this illness developed before it's too late.

"We feel that more information on his time working at A Ogden & Sons could be vital to our efforts. We would be grateful to anyone who may be able to shed light on the conditions Barry would have faced while employed by the company."

Anyone with information should contact Amber Price at Irwin Mitchell’s Newcastle office on 0191 279 0111 or email