A GRANDFATHER of four has made an emotional appeal to find out how he contracted mesothelioma.

Former demolition worker Barry Nelson, 74, is searching for answers after being diagnosed with the disease - a form of cancer usually linked to asbestos exposure.

Mr Nelson, from Darlington, has asked lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate and the team are looking into whether his illness may be linked to his former work.

They are appealing for anyone who worked with him during his time with an Otley-based demolition firm, A Ogden & Sons (Demolitions) Ltd, between 1968 and 1970 to come forward. Mr Nelson specifically remembers working on the demolition of the Bowburn Colliery, in Durham, for the firm.

Asbestos-related disease lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, Roger Maddocks, said: “This is sadly another devastating case in which someone has seemingly been exposed to asbestos during their work.

“While sadly the doctors cannot do anything for Barry with regards to curing his cancer we are determined to help him discover how his illness developed before it’s too late. We feel that more information on his time working at A Ogden & Sons could be vital to our efforts.”

Mr Nelson started to suffer from chest problems in 2016 and subsequent tests confirmed he had mesothelioma. He said: “All of my work was very dusty but Bowburn Pit was particularly bad. We had to completely level the site and buildings and I was involved in a lot of burning work, as well as cutting up a range of different metalwork.

“While I have tried to come to terms with my diagnosis the cancer is affecting me more every day. I have so many questions about how I could have been exposed to asbestos and think I deserve answers. It can’t change what has happened to me but hopefully, by having my old colleagues come forward, it will enable my family to understand why this happened and how.

Anyone with information should contact Amber Price on (0191) 279 0111, e-mail amber.price@irwinmitchell.com.