THE family of a former Huddersfield nurse who died from an asbestos-related cancer are appealing to her former colleagues for help.
Joyce Smith, originally from Netherton, died from mesothelioma in March 2012 aged 86 after a nine month battle with the incurable condition.
She believed she came into contact with the deadly dust in one of the old hospitals she worked in during her long and dedicated career as a nurse.
Her family have now instructed industrial illness experts at Irwin Mitchell to help.
They want her colleagues at the hospitals she worked in throughout Manchester, Yorkshire and Wales to come forward with information about the conditions within the hospital buildings.
David Jessop, Joyce’s nephew, said: “When she sadly passed away she wanted us to make sure this investigation was carried out to find out when and where she was exposed to the asbestos.”
Ian Toft, an industrial illness expert at Irwin Mitchell representing David, said: “Asbestos used to be prolific in public buildings such as hospitals and schools.
“We are keen to speak to anybody who worked with Joyce in any of the hospitals mentioned as they might be able to shed light on the presence of the asbestos.”
Joyce began her career in September 1942 when she enrolled at Manchester Royal Infirmary on a nursing studies course.
However, she was forced to leave the hospital after just four months as a result of ill health.
She was later accepted onto a training course at Scarborough Hospital in 1945 and went on to spend three and half years working there.
After qualifying as a midwife in 1950, Joyce took up a post at Salford Royal Hospital before moving to the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital in Oswestry between 1959 and 1963.
She then took up a role as principal sister tutor at Harlow Wood Orthopaedic Hospital, Nottingham, in 1964.
Later that year, she worked as a tutor in the United Sheffield Hospitals School of Nursing.
In April 1970, she had the honour of overseeing the conversion of ‘Ellerslie’ into the Orthopaedic Nurse Training School for Huddersfield Royal Infirmary, where she was Principal Sister Tutor until her retirement in 1979.
Contact Ian Toft at Irwin Mitchell on 0870 1500 100 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.