Grandfather, who thought his asthma was about to ‘play up’, dies days before his birthday

A grandfather who thought his asthma “spilled up” died a few days before his 66th birthday of asbestos-related cancer.

His ruined wife of 39 years, Marie, 61, said she is “still struggling” with the loss of her “soulmate” and is determined to find answers to how her husband could have gotten the disease.

Father-of-three Doug Ormsby, an electrical engineer from Liverpool, died of mesothelioma at the age of 65 in 2019, just two years after retiring from the company he worked in for almost 40 years.

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In 2018, Doug noted that he was struggling with shortness of breath and assumed he was having asthma problems.

After visiting a general practitioner in October of that year, he was referred for a chest x-ray and prescribed antibiotics.

His condition worsened in December and he was sent for further scans and spent Christmas 2019 in the hospital.

Doug Ormbsy worked for Massey Coldbeck for almost 40 years before retiring in 2017
Doug Ormbsy worked for Massey Coldbeck for almost 40 years before retiring in 2017

In January 2019, he was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the lungs associated with asbestos exposure, and died on December 4th.

His wife Marie said: “We had been to Cyprus and the Lake District shortly before we found out about his illness and I could see that something was not quite right, but I had never thought it would be an asbestos-related cancer that could have been caused by him going to work. ”

Shortly before his death, Doug had been in contact with a law firm specializing in asbestos-related claims, which has investigated where he could have been exposed to the deadly substance.

Doug’s “ruined” family said they are determined to continue fighting after his death to find out more about how Doug contracted the disease.

From 1969, Doug had been employed by Massey Coldbeck Electric Motor Service and Massey Coldbeck Engineering, where he worked repairing electric motors until he retired in 2017.

He first worked in the Massey Coldbeck workshop on Windsor Road in Tuebrook and later at the company’s site on Stockpit Road, Kirkby from 1972.

According to attorney Irwin Mitchell, acting on behalf of Doug’s family, he claims to have remembered transporting engines from the truck into the Tuebrook workshop and was told “careful, it’s asbestos on it.”

Irwin Mitchell says Doug thought this was where he came in contact with asbestos while cleaning contaminated engines.

Marie appealed to everyone with information, including former employees of Massey Coldbeck, to step forward, saying: “Doug enjoyed his retirement and was in good health before he was diagnosed.

“He was an avid cyclist and gardener, and also spent time doing DIY and painting and decorating. So it was a huge shock when we found out he was unwell.

“Losing him so soon after was devastating, and I’m still struggling to this day.

“He was my soulmate, and we did everything together, so it’s incredibly difficult to come to terms with the fact that he is no longer here.

“While there is nothing that can bring Doug back or make amends for our loss, we want to continue his search for the answers to how he could have developed this terrible disease before he died, and we would be so grateful. if anyone could help us. “

People are asked to contact Katrina London on 0161 838 7262 or by email at if they have any information they think could help.

Ms London, who specializes in asbestos-related disease advocate, said: “Understandably, Doug’s family is still devastated after his death and their grief has been made so much worse by the knowledge that his illness was probably caused by exposure to asbestos at. his workplace.

“We are therefore eager to hear from everyone who has worked with Doug, and although nothing can compensate for the loss of his family, we are determined to give them the answers they deserve.

“Every detail, no matter how small, can prove crucial to our investigation.”

Massey Coldbeck was contacted for comment and a spokesman said: “We have referred the matter to our insurance companies who are dealing with it and we have no further comments to make.”

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