Nurse died 22 years after being diagnosed with cancer caused by asbestos exposure, inquest hears

PUBLISHED: 06:30 17 June 2020 | UPDATED: 08:01 17 June 2020

Michael and Sharon Payne with their sons Jasper and Alec. Picture: Payne family

Michael and Sharon Payne with their sons Jasper and Alec. Picture: Payne family


A nurse died 22 years after she was diagnosed with cancer caused by asbestos exposure, an inquest has heard.

Sharon Payne, 50, of North Pickenham, died at the Norfolk Hospice, on April 3.

At an inquest into her death, held at Norfolk Coroner’s Court on June 16, Simon Milburn, assistant coroner for Norfolk, read evidence from Mrs Payne’s husband, Michael Payne, and doctors who had been involved in her care.

Mr Payne said his wife had been employed as a nurse at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn when she had been first diagnosed with metastatic mesothelioma in 1998.

It was thought she had been exposed to asbestos while working in factory units from 1985-89.

The court heard how in the years following her diagnosis she received various courses of chemotherapy but her condition started to decline in September 2019, and continued to deteriorate into 2020.

Following her death, tributes were paid to Mrs Payne by members of her community.

The medical cause of death was metastatic mesothelioma alongside multiple pulmonary embolism.

Mr Milburn’s conclusion was that Mrs Payne died from industrial disease.

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