Posted on February 21, 2014

We have been touched by asbestos in individual ways, yet we are joined together by a bond of community. As a testament to the strength of our global family, the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) is highlighting the courageous stories of our members with the “Share Your Story” feature on our website.

This week, we would like to honor the story of Peter, as shared by his widow, Amanda, who is a part of our ADAO family.

We encourage you to submit your personal stories by clicking here and following the simple instructions on the page. In sharing, comes healing. Remember, you are not alone.

“Our World Was Turned Upside Down” – Peter’s Story

Name: Peter

Location: England

Date of Birth: 24-NOV-1938

Date of Diagnosis: 08-JUL-2011

Date of Death: 01-JAN-2012

Diagnosis: Mesothelioma

How has asbestos changed your life? 

Peter started to feel unwell in March 2011.  From a totally unrelated source, both Peter’s first wife and brother-in-law had died from Mesothelioma so Peter was all too aware of the symptoms of the disease and knowing that he had worked with asbestos as a young apprentice, he was conscious that it was a possibility.  After several attempts to drain his lung, he underwent a Pleurodesis in June 2011. His right lung totally collapsed in July 2011 and it was then that he was given his diagnosis.

I will never forget the day he told his daughter and son that he too was going to lose his life to the disease.  In August 2011, he underwent a procedure to insert a permanent pleural catheter, which meant  I could drain his lung at home to ease his symptoms. The pain in his chest continued to increase so he underwent a Percutaneous Spinal Cordotomy in October 2011. Although he didn’t particularly enjoy the experience, he said he would recommend the treatment to anyone.  This treatment enabled him to fulfill his wishes and to go on holiday to the Caribbean to celebrate his birthday.

It was truly heart-breaking to see someone I had shared 14 years of my life with in so much pain and change from a fit active person to someone reduced to a wheelchair and dependent just to move around.  We were told at diagnosis that he would possibly have a year to live. At the time, we thought a year was short but we didn’t realise how in that time, our lives would be consumed with the illness as the disease rapidly progressed. We however didn’t have a year and Peter passed over on 1st January 2012, turning our world upside down.

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