Ex-firefighter with mesothelioma defies odds with pioneering treatment

A former firefighter who was told he has six months to live when diagnosed with mesothelioma has defied the odds thanks to pioneering treatment, Wales Online has reported.

82 year old Anthony Carlton spent most of the 1970s as a firefighter in rural England where he attended many barn fires, which were constructed using corrugated asbestos sheets.

Tony was exposed to the deadly fibres while extinguishing the fires but had no idea about the dangers of asbestos until he started to suffer shortness of breath in 2018.

His granddaughter, who is a nurse, persuaded him to see a doctor and following further tests he was diagnosed with the mesothelioma at the beginning of 2019.

Tony, a great grandfather of 11, said:

“I was shocked, especially when they said I have got six months, they said no treatment could treat it. That takes the wind out of you.”

Mesothelioma is a cancer that develops in the lining that covers the outer surface of some of the body’s organs and is linked to asbestos exposure. It is rarely possible to cure.

With the help of solicitors J.M. Parsons & Co, Tony managed to secure a pioneering immunotherapy cancer treatment.

He started treatment in February 2020, and after a year he is now drop down in frequency as it has been that successful.

Tony added:

“In 2019 I felt awful. I had lost a lot of weight, I didn’t think I would make it to the end of the year. And now I have put weight on and I was able to get out and do gardening last summer.

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 unforgivable.”

Tony described himself as “fit as a fiddle” and is looking forward to receiving the coronavirus vaccine.