A former part-time firefighter, now living in Aberdare, has secured the cost of a revolutionary cancer treatment as part of his asbestos disease claim.

Anthony Carlton, originally from Kent but who moved to Aberdare in 2006, has successfully secured immunotherapy, a pioneering cancer treatment, as part of his mesothelioma claim. While most patients will visit hospital for this type of treatment, Anthony will be one of the few who will be able to have it at home as part of his settlement, ensuring his safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Between 1969 and 1979, the now 82-year-old worked as a planning manager by day, but by night, volunteered as a firefighter for 11 years until he retired. As he was based in a rural area, he attended many barn fires, which were constructed using corrugated asbestos sheeting. He was exposed to the deadly fibres while extinguishing the fire but had no idea about the dangers of asbestos.

Macmillan benefits advisor Shirley Melly given a cheque from Tony and his wife Christine
Macmillan benefits advisor Shirley Melly (left) given a cheque from Tony and his wife Christine

Alongside his volunteering, Mr Carlton was also involved in charity work, which included running a charity that organised trips for children from the Ukraine to visit the UK, and through boot sales and fayres, raised more than £500 for cancer charity Macmillan.

In August 2018, his granddaughter, a nurse, was concerned about his shortness of breath and persuaded him to see his doctor. 

Following further tests, the great grandfather of 11 was diagnosed with the asbestos cancer, mesothelioma, at the start 2019.

Mr Carlton is being supported by J.M. Parsons & Co Solicitors, a Llanelli-based company and partner company to Thompsons Solicitors, who paved the way for asbestos litigation in the UK ever since it brought about the first successful asbestos disease claim to the House of Lords in 1972. As a point of principle, Thompsons only represents workers and their families who have developed asbestos diseases and never acts for employers or insurance companies. It is also one of a handful of specialist firms in the UK to be a member of the Mesothelioma UK Legal Panel in recognition of its expertise.

Amanda Jones, who represented Mr Carlton, secured compensation for Mr Carlton, as well as costs of immunotherapy treatment at home, as part of the settlement. The treatment has helped ease his symptoms and increased his life expectancy. 

Mr Carlton said: “I knowingly put my safety in danger when I volunteered for the fire service, but to have unknowingly been exposed to something that has put a ticking clock on my life is unforgiveable.

“The service I had from my solicitors was second-to-none. Without the settlement, I wouldn’t have been able to have the treatment, which is improving my quality of life, or hold those responsible to account for their neglect.”

Amanda Jones said: “I am delighted to have been able to assist Tony in achieving such a good outcome in his case. Mesothelioma is a dreadful disease, caused almost exclusively by the inhalation of asbestos dust and fibre, which could have, and should have, been prevented.

“It is hoped Tony’s treatment will continue to have a significant benefit for him, especially as he is able to have it safely at home. It is very rewarding to have played a part in obtaining this for him.”