Sunderland grandmother's appeal to former factory colleagues after cancer diagnosis

A retired factory worker who has been diagnosed with asbestos-related cancer has turned to legal experts to find answers about how she could have developed the disease.

Thursday, 19th September 2019, 12:16 pm
Updated Friday, 20th September 2019, 2:25 pm
Norma pictured in the late 1990s with her husband Tony.

Norma Conlon, 71, started to develop chest problems and a cough in February last year and, following further investigations, it was confirmed the following July that she had mesothelioma.

The cancer affects of the lining of the lung and is most commonly linked with exposure to asbestos.

In the wake of the diagnosis, Norma, who has three grown up children and six grandchildren, instructed specialist lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate how she came into contact with the material and whether the exposure may have occurred during her working life.

Norma is pictured centre in this photo, which was taken in the late 1970s during a work outing.

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Now, as part of their ongoing investigations, her legal team are calling for anyone who worked with Norma to help with inquiries.

Roger Maddocks, a partner and specialist asbestos-related disease lawyer at Irwin Mitchell's Newcastle office, is supporting Norma as information is pieced together.

They are especially keen to speak to anyone who worked with her between 1966 and 1968, when Norma was working full-time, and between 1975 and 1983, when she would cover evening shifts to fit in around her young family.

He said: "Norma's story is sadly similar to a great number we have come across during our work, with individuals developing mesothelioma many years after exposure to asbestos may have taken place.

Norma Conlon, centre, with two workmates at a Christmas party in 1981.

"We are continuing to develop a full picture of Norma's working history.

“We would be hugely grateful to anyone who may be able to help us in our efforts.”

Norma, who is married to Tony, 74, worked as a service hand, an assembly worker and a relief charge during her factory career.

She said: "Being told I had mesothelioma was very difficult to take and I am shocked to think that it could have been caused by my work.

“I am desperate for answers regarding my illness and any help would be hugely appreciated."

Anyone with information is asked to contact Amber Price at Irwin Mitchell's Newcastle office on (0191) 279 0111 or email amber.price@irwinmitchell.com.