BINGO Hall Manager Died From Mesothelioma
A British worker who was the long-time manager of a popular BINGO hall in the southeast region of England has died from mesothelioma, and his widow believes that the place in which he worked had a lot to do with his demise.
Bob Elliot worked as a senior manager throughout the 1970s and 1980s in one of a string of popular BINGO establishments in the area around Sunderland, England.
The long-time employee oversaw a number of functions at the always-bustling attraction, including everything from making sure games went off without a hitch to managing renovations of those premises and other BINGO halls as well.
The Chronicle reports that it was not discovered that Elliot had mesothelioma until the coroner’s inquest into his death.
Hence, the widow and her family didn’t put two-and-two together until just recently, when they learned the reason for Elliot’s symptoms, which included chest pain, difficulty breathing, and other common symptoms associated with the disease.
Bob passed away in March at the age of 79 after a very brief illness that was apparently undiagnosed.
His wife of 50 years told the press that not only did Elliot, who was a “top boss” for the Rank Company, worked mostly in Sunderland but also traveled around the UK to oversee conversions of empty cinemas into spots for playing BINGO, a pastime that was quite popular 30-40 years ago.
She wonders how many times he was exposed to asbestos not only at the Sunderland hall but also elsewhere during his work for the company.
Elizabeth Elliot hopes that others who may have been in similar positions with Rank Company will help her figure out the puzzle. She adds that Bob was a fighter and had already survived prostate cancer, which was not related in any way to the asbestos exposure.
“When Bob had prostate cancer in 1999, he made such a great recovery, he had more energy than me. But then in late 2015, we could tell something wasn’t right – we worried that the prostate cancer had come back, but really we knew it was something different as the symptoms were different,” she said.
“The doctors kept asking about whether Bob could have come into contact with asbestos, but we always said no, as that wasn’t his line of work. Just before he died, one doctor said to us it could be mesothelioma, but as Bob didn’t work with asbestos, we just didn’t think it was possible,” Elizabeth added. “Only once the post mortem confirmed it did we actually believe it, but of course it was a huge shock.
The family was also unaware that mesothelioma would take decades to develop and that Bob’s exposure likely occurred while he was working with renovations at those old BINGO halls.
As in the U.S., Britain used asbestos in building products for decades. Bob could have inhaled hazardous dust from any number of asbestos-containing products from tiles to mastics to concrete or siding.
“After all he had been through with his prostate cancer, Bob died from this illness we knew absolutely nothing about which, unbeknown to any of us, he contracted years and years ago at work. It is heart breaking.