Gulf War veteran says exposure to depleted uranium led to cancer
A FORMER soldier says he hopes a tribunal will find a link between his cancer and his exposure to uranium while serving in the first Gulf War.
Andy Hodgetts has had his large intestine and some of his small intestine removed. Twenty-eight lymph nodes around his body have been taken out and he has lost 60 per cent of his liver since being diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2011.
Last week, he attended a tribunal that will decide if there is a direct medical link between his illness and any exposure to depleted uranium while he was serving as a Grenadier Guardsman in Iraq in 1991.
Mr Hodgetts, 41, of Decaldwell Drive, Newark, said: "I'm nervous but I'm doing this because there have been that many friends with cancer who have served with me.
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"There have been so many coincidences that I thought, 'I'm not having any more'.
"I nearly died, it's ruined me and ever since I came out the Army, I've had problems. The last two years have been terrible. I'm just trying to get better so I can get back to work."
Mr Hodgetts also served with the Territorial Army in the second Gulf War in 2003.
He has been treated for his cancer at King's Mill Hospital and the Queen's Medical Centre.
Of the tribunal, held in Birmingham, Mr Hodgetts said: "I'm hoping they recognise that depleted uranium causes cancer.
"I would like some recognition for my friends who have died and the ones who are currently ill."
He added: "I detest this Government and country now because of the way we've been treated."
If the tribunal finds in his favour, he will be entitled to an enhanced military pension from the Government and possibly compensation.
The Service Personnel and Veterans Agency – the Ministry of Defence body responsible for pensions and welfare services – also gave evidence at the tribunal.
It argued that there was no proven direct medical link between Mr Hodgetts' cancer and his Gulf War service.
Both sides have been given a further six weeks to submit further evidence.
Mr Hodgetts said it was likely he would find out the outcome of the tribunal in writing.