New York Man with Mesothelioma Survived Almost 12 Years after Diagnosis
Written by Jason Wentworth
Tuesday, 01 June 2010 18:01
In 1995, a 59-year old man who worked for a national candy manufacturer in a number of jobs, including work in the company’s boiler house was given the devastating news that his bouts with lung problems were caused by mesothelioma, the most serious form of asbestos cancer.
This New York resident beat the survival rate odds for more than a decade—finally succumbing to his illness 12 years later at the age of 72. The majority of the more than 2,000 men and women diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer each year typically succumb to the disease within one year after being diagnosed.
In 1995 court documents provided by the New York law firm of Weitz & Luxenberg, this brave man told the story of his exposure to the cancer-causing mineral, his eventual diagnosis and the impact malignant mesothelioma had on the quality of his life.
For more than 20 years, he was employed at a chocolate manufacturing factory in upstate New York, working as a laborer in a number of departments. Despite not working directly with asbestos-containing materials, he worked alongside mechanics who routinely applied asbestos insulation on the steam pipes throughout the factory.
During the last 10 years of his tenure at the chocolate facility he worked in the boiler house, where he was exposed to dangerous asbestos dust and fibers every day. He recalled walking on top of the boilers, which were covered with what he termed as “asbestos bricks,” and inhaled asbestos dusts from the boiler pipes. His work in the boiler house also involved the application of asbestos insulation materials on boiler pipes and other areas.
Tragically, when asked if he had ever been provided with respirator masks or other protective equipment, he recalled them being provided if he was cleaning equipment with ammonia-based products, but was never given any protective equipment that may have prevented him from inhaling asbestos dust.
A Devastated Family
At the time of his diagnosis, he and his wife of almost 40 years were facing financial strain, as the funds from his asbestos workers’ compensation claim served as the couple’s only source of income.
His two children were also facing the consequences of his diagnosis. While his son and his family still lived in the upstate New York area, his daughter, who had worked as a nurse, had uprooted her family from Georgia to return to New York to help care for her seriously ill father.
When asked how his life had changed since his diagnosis, he reminisced about his love of fishing, hiking, camping and hunting. He wistfully discussed how his hikes were now reduced to short walks in his community and how he was not physically able to participate in the state’s then upcoming deer hunting season.
Sadly, he also confessed to the effects his illness had on his time with his grandchildren: “I like to play ball with my grandchildren. I would like to enjoy them while they are still young, and I’m still able, but I can’t do that now.”
During his illness and even after his death, his widow and grandchildren continue to receive monetary compensation from his asbestos lawsuit — having benefited from gross settlements in excess of $2.6 million to date.
Mesothelioma symptoms usually appear decades after exposure to asbestos has taken place. The symptoms can include difficulty breathing, coughing of blood, abdominal swelling, and fever. The mesothelioma symptoms that a mesothelioma patient exhibits usually depends on the type of mesothelioma. Common types of mesothelioma include pleural mesothelioma (also known as lung mesothelioma) and peritoneal mesothelioma (affects the abdominal cavity). Sadly, many cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed when the cancer has already advanced significantly and mesothelioma treatment options are limited.
Weitz & Luxenberg Mesothelioma Attorneys can help
Weitz & Luxenberg mesothelioma lawyers are among the leading mesothelioma lawyers in the U.S. The firm has been specializing in mesothelioma cancer cases since 1986 and has won millions of dollars for thousands of people suffering from mesothelioma. Weitz & Luxenberg accepts mesothelioma cancer cases from all regions of the U.S. and certain regions of Canada. Weitz & Luxenberg asbestos lawyers have been recognized as the “Best Lawyers of New York” by New York Magazine. To learn more about a Weitz & Luxenberg mesothelioma attorney, visit http://www.weitzlux.com. To learn about jobs that involve the risk of asbestos exposure, visit http://www.mesotheliomajobs.com.