A 45-YEAR-OLD who trained as a painter and decorator died of asbestos-related cancer, an inquest heard.
Frank Skidmore, of Salkeld Place, Chell Heath, struggled to get medics to believe he was in pain for years before he was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2007.
He had completed a two-year training scheme in painting and decorating when he was a teenager, working with artex containing asbestos.
Mr Skidmore died at home on March 1.
His only daughter Jenny Skidmore said: “When he was finally diagnosed he knew he must have been exposed in the 1970s when he did that training scheme.
“He was in so much pain. The cancer was testicular and once he had that removed it was discovered it had gone too far and already spread to his other organs. He would never ask for any help even though he was in so much pain.”
Grandfather-of-three Mr Skidmore, who was divorced, left school at 14 and worked in a car-spraying garage after completing the training scheme, but in his later years he became a forklift truck driver for ANC in Chesterton
His mother Eileen Skidmore said: “He was a loving son, father and grandfather.
“He loved his job and his colleagues, he didn’t have any enemies and he was really hard working.
“But he was in so much pain he had to give up work in 2004. Nobody would believe there was anything wrong with him.
“They thought he was being a drama queen, but when he finally got diagnosed he always had a smile on his face because at last they believed him.”
In the years when his condition was undiagnosed, Mr Skidmore did not get any sickness benefit and had to live on just £40 a week, but when it all came to light he got a large settlement.
His daughter Jenny added: “It came so late in his life, he could hardly enjoy it. He tried his best and we’d go on trips to Rhyl, because he wanted his grandkids to have happy memories of him, but he would be in so much agony.”
Deputy coroner for North Staffordshire Anthony Curzon recorded the cause of death as a industrial disease.
He said: “Post-mortem showed the cancer in his lung, liver, kidney, spleen and tumorous deposits in his spine.
“He was diagnosed with the mesothelioma, a rare type of cancer found in people who have been exposed to asbestos, four years before his death.
“The final thing which affected him was bronchial pneumonia.
“He is believed to have come into contact with asbestos while training as a painter and decorator in his teenage years.”
Source This is Staffordshire