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Move proves a life saver.

Asbestos victim David Gavin was forced to move to Liverpool so he could receive Alimta on the NHS.

David, 54, from Felling, in Gateshead, was diagnosed with the disease in August this year and was told by his consultants that he must get Alimta or he would die in months.

David, who worked in a number of Tyneside shipyards as an insulation engineer, faced cashing in his pension so he could scrape together the cash to pay the pounds 24,000 needed to have the treatment at the Nuffield Hospital, in Jesmond, Newcastle.

In a last ditch hope he approached his sister's doctor in Liverpool and was fortunately taken on to the books.

Now David has had two treatments of Alimta at the Clattebridge Hospital, in the Wirral. It is a centre for oncology and regularly treats mesothelioma patients with Alimta.

He is living with his sister and when he is well enough comes back up to the North East to see his family and friends.

He said: "I didn't want to leave the North East. It's my home now," the keen gardener and fisherman said. "But I had no choice."

He added that the first two treatments had left him feeling ill. He is now on a course of steroids and will find out soon if he will have a third session.

He said he feels great now.

He added: "The treatment really knocked the stuffing out of me. I took a bit of sickness, which is common, but my body never seemed to recover first off.

"I feel smashing now. I was getting a really bad pain on my left side when I was driving. The pain has gone now.

"I could not have walked 10 feet a week ago but now I seem to be getting back to the way I was a couple of months ago. I am hoping to get to the North East as soon as possible.

"At the present moment I have no pain whatsoever. I hope I can continue with the treatment but it depends on what the doctor says.

"I am hoping in my own heart that when I see the consultant that he wants me back on the drug. It is my only chance."

David added that when he gets the treatment he is hooked up to a drip for between eight and 12 hours. He does not have to stay in the hospital over night.
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Dec 9, 2005
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