The family of a mother of three who sadly died of asbestos related disease mesothelioma is calling for contact from her former colleagues and classmates.

Debra Chappell, nee Jones, from Doncaster, was just 46, when she died from cancer of the lining of the lungs in November 2010.

She left behind three children, including two teenagers.

Her family have now instructed Thompsons Solicitors to find out more about the cause of her death.

Mesothelioma is an aggressive from of cancer which is caused by exposure to asbestos. Sufferers often have just months to live following diagnosis.

Debbie Chappell worked at Richmond Hill Infant School in Doncaster

Debra, or Debbie to her friends, worked as a primary school teacher. The former Cardiff University student was diagnosed with the cancer in November 2009 after suffering from breathlessness and finding a lump on her side.

Her partner, Clive Stone, said before her death she recalled dust in her classroom when she worked at Richmond Hill Infant School in Doncaster during the 1990s. At the time the school was having an extension built, dust would contaminate her classroom. Asbestos insulating board was also later discovered in the classroom wall heaters, which would be regularly opened and cleaned whilst teachers were in the classrooms.

Debbie also believed she may have been exposed to asbestos as a child whilst she attended Tredegar Comprehensive, Blaenau Gwent in Wales during the 1970s. Now Debbie’s family want to anyone who may help them to develop a picture of Debbie’s exposure to come forward.

Did you attend Tredegar Comprehensive Blaenau Gwent in Wales?

Anyone who worked at Richmond Hill Infant School, Sprotborough between 1987 and 1995, and in particular from anyone who was on site when the new school hall was built in 1994 may be able to help.

It is also understood asbestos was removed from the school in 2007. Anyone who worked at the school at this time or who was involved in the removal of asbestos may hold vital information.

The family would also like any of Debbie’s former classmates who attended Tredegar Comprehensive from 1974 to 1981 or anyone who remembers building or maintenance work being carried out on the school during that time to come forward.

Please get in touch with Thompsons Solicitors with any information

Mr Stone said: “Debbie was a fun-loving woman with a wide circle of friends. She was a wonderful mum to her three children and has sadly been taken away from them too soon. We want to find out exactly how she developed this devastating cancer that destroyed a much-loved young woman’s life.

“We urge anyone who might have the smallest piece of information to get in touch.”

A spokesperson from Thompsons Solicitors added: “Mesothelioma is an aggressive disease, yet it is uncommon to take the life of someone so young. The very nature of cancer’s latency means that sufferers are often in their 60s or 70s before they are diagnosed.

“Debbie has left behind a young family with the rest of their lives ahead of them. We want to find out exactly how their mother was exposed to asbestos so they can begin to prepare for their future.”

Anyone with any information about Debbie’s exposure to asbestos should contact the asbestos team on 08000 224 224 or by email at