Grieving husband appeals for answers after Stevenage wife's death is shrouded in mystery

PUBLISHED: 08:30 04 July 2019

Pamela Dudley died in January, with many questions surrounding her illness still unanswered. Picture: courtesy of Irwin Mitchell.

Pamela Dudley died in January, with many questions surrounding her illness still unanswered. Picture: courtesy of Irwin Mitchell.

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The grieving husband of a former nurse is appealing for help in finding out how she contracted the disease which killed her.

Pamela Dudley as a nurse in the 1950s. Picture courtesy of Irwin Mitchell. Pamela Dudley as a nurse in the 1950s. Picture courtesy of Irwin Mitchell.

Pamela Dudley, who lived in Stevenage, was diagnosed with mesothelioma - a terminal cancer linked to exposure to asbestos - in July last year.

The mum-of-four had instructed Irwin Mitchell Solicitors to investigate how she had been exposed to this deadly material, but she died in January, aged 79, without the answers.

Pamela's husband Bill, 81, now wants to honour his wife's memory by finding these answers.

Ahead of Action Mesothelioma Day on Friday, he is appealing for information about working conditions and the presence of asbestos at the hospitals where she worked - specifically Hitchin Hospital from the late 1970s to 1995, as well as from 1958 the former Grove Fever Hospital and Fountain Hospital in Tooting, which merged to become St George's Hospital in 1973.

Pamela Dudley as a nurse in the 1950s. Picture courtesy of Irwin Mitchell. Pamela Dudley as a nurse in the 1950s. Picture courtesy of Irwin Mitchell.

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Before her death Pamela told her legal team she remembered there were several dark grey military-style huts outside the main Hitchin Hospital building that housed wards. She believes the huts could have been made of asbestos and pipes may have been lagged with the material.

Bill, who was married to Pamela for 59 years, said: "It was so difficult, especially for Pamela, to try and come to terms with her diagnosis. She had so many questions about how she could have been exposed to asbestos and was determined for our family to find out. However, her condition quickly deteriorated.

"Pamela was the most loving and caring person who would do anything for anyone. It was absolutely heartbreaking seeing her as the cancer took hold.

"The pain and grief we feel each day following her death is still extremely raw, but we know we cannot change anything. We just hope that by people coming forward with information we can find the answers Pamela wanted so much when she was alive."

Lawyer Natalia Rushworth-White said: "This is yet another terrible case involving a person in which an individual has gone on to develop mesothelioma many years after it is believed asbestos exposure took place.

"Pamela spent years helping others. We are now determined to help her family and honour Pamela's memory by establishing answers on their behalf."

Call Natalia on 0207 421 3900 or email natalia.rushworthwhite@irwinmitchell.com with information.

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