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Brothers' plea to find answers over mother's death

PUBLISHED: 15:35 25 May 2019 | UPDATED: 15:35 25 May 2019

Former hospital cleaner Shirley Yallop died after being diagnosed with mesothelioma - a cancer linked to asbestos exposure. Picture: Eugene and Rodell Dunford

Former hospital cleaner Shirley Yallop died after being diagnosed with mesothelioma - a cancer linked to asbestos exposure. Picture: Eugene and Rodell Dunford

Eugene and Rodell Dunford

Two brothers are reaching out to former colleagues of their mother in the hope of finding answers surrounding her death.

Two brothers are reaching out to former workers of the old Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital site in St Stephen's Road to find answers surrounding their mother's death. Picture: Eugene and Rodell DunfordTwo brothers are reaching out to former workers of the old Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital site in St Stephen's Road to find answers surrounding their mother's death. Picture: Eugene and Rodell Dunford

Shirley Yallop, 72, of Canterbury Place, Norwich, died in April 2016, just five months after being diagnosed with mesothelioma - a cancer linked to asbestos exposure.

Mrs Yallop worked as a cleaner at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital's (NNUH) site in St Stephen's Road in the city from the late 1980s until its closure in 2003.

Despite showing no adverse signs of illness in the subsequent years, Mrs Yallop became seriously ill in 2015 and was told she only had months to live.

Her sons, Eugene Dunford, 63, and Rodell Dunford, 48, were shocked to learn of their mother's diagnosis and at that point had never even heard of mesothelioma.

Mrs Yallop suffered from an aggressive form of the disease - sarcomatoid mesothelioma - and her condition deteriorated quickly.

She was diagnosed in November 2015 after a 10-day hospital stay and died in the hospice in the following year on April 7.

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An inquest held at Norfolk Coroner's Court on June 10, 2016, concluded that Mrs Yallop died of an industrial disease.

Asbestos was previously widely used in cladding and insulation but its dangers were recognised during the 1980s and it is now a banned substance.

The brothers said their mother was full of life and loved to socialise, and was liked by everyone.

They said Mrs Yallop recalled the corridors in the hospital where she cleaned were lagged with asbestos and is hoping former colleagues may have some clues as to how she contracted the deadly disease.

They said: "We would like her former colleagues to come forward so that they can describe her working conditions and explain how she might have come into contact with asbestos."

A spokesman from the NNUH said: "Our condolences go out to the family of Mrs Yallop following their loss.

"We have received contact from the family through their legal representatives and this is an ongoing matter."

Specialist asbestos disease solicitor Martyn Hayward, of Ashtons Legal, is assisting the family and would like to speak to former colleagues of the hospital.

To get in touch with Mr Hayward, call 01223 431112 or email martyn.hayward@ashtonslegal.co.uk

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