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Witness appeal for Devon woman who died after asbestos exposure at electronics firm
The husband and family of Sylvia Woodcock (also known as Winsor) from Paignton, Devon, who died from a devastating asbestos-related disease, aged just 62 years, are appealing for help from her former colleagues.
The devoted mother and grandmother to five grandchildren died from mesothelioma, an aggressive, incurable cancer linked to past exposure to deadly asbestos dust particles.
Sadly, Sylvia passed away last Christmas on the 26th of December 2015. Her illness came on very suddenly after her GP felt some lumps in her abdomen following a routine examination in August 2015.
By the September, she felt very unwell and consultants suspected she was suffering from ovarian cancer. On the 23rd of December, she had an exploratory operation and biopsies were taken. Following the operation, she was told the devastating news that she had just days left to live. Sylvia returned home and died surrounded by her family three days’ later. Following her death, the results of the biopsies confirmed that she was suffering from peritoneal mesothelioma.
Sylvia worked at Weyrad Electronics as a production operative from 1977 to 1980 at the firm’s Crewkerne and Weymouth sites.
Her widower Bernard is investigating her past work at Weyrad Electronics and with help from specialist asbestos disease solicitors, Novum Law is appealing for anyone who worked at the firm during the 1970s and early 1980s to come forward with any information they have about her working conditions and how she was exposed to asbestos.
Weyrad Electronics manufactured electronics for power supplies, alarm sensors and door entry systems. The firm started life back in November 1945 and by 1996 had changed its name to Racal Weymouth Limited. The company was eventually dissolved in July 2003.
Bernard said: “The family have been left absolutely devastated by Sylvia’s sudden illness and loss. Before her diagnosis, she was really enjoying her retirement and she loved spending time outdoors on fishing trips and weekends away and spending time with our children and grandchildren.
“It was only after her passing that we learned she was suffering from peritoneal mesothelioma, a terminal cancer affecting the thin cell walls surrounding her abdominal cavity.
“We hope that anyone who remembers working with Sylvia at Weyrad Electronics gets in touch with any information, no matter how small.”
Andrew Walker, a specialist asbestos disease solicitor from Novum Law who is assisting Bernard and his family with their search for justice, said: “Sylvia’s family are understandably very shocked and upset that they have lost her to an asbestos-related disease.
“Mesothelioma is a dreadful illness which causes significant suffering for its victims and their families. Thousands of people die each year as a result of just going about their everyday lives and working to make a living.”
“We are appealing to anyone who worked for Weyrad at the Crewkerne or Weymouth sites in the 1970s or 1980s that can provide information about the presence of asbestos either at the premises or on the production lines and how Sylvia would have come into contact with asbestos.”