Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Mesothelioma Cancer patient dies before collecting winnings for living another year

Jon Matthews was diagnosed with mesothelioma – a cancer linked to asbestos – in April 2006.

But the widower, from Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, refused to accept his doctor's prognosis that he would be dead within months and decided to bet against it.
 

Keen to defy the doctor's prediction that he would not see in 2007, he placed a £100 stake with odds of 50/1 with bookmaker William Hill that he would remain alive until June 1 2008. This won him £5,000.

He made a further bet of the same amount and odds that he would survive until June 1 2009, which netted him another £5,000 last year, at the age of 59.

His third and final wager of £100 at 100/1 that he would survive until June 1 this year would have netted him £10,000 if he had lived another few weeks.

But he died last Monday, missing out on his final jackpot.

Graham Sharp, who took what he called the ''unique'' bet for William Hill, said it had given Mr Matthews an incentive to fight the disease.

He said: ''I was very sad when I heard he'd died. I'd been in touch with Jon since he placed the bet and I'm just delighted that it gave him so much fun and enjoyment.


''When he first approached us about it I was in two minds and thought we'd be accused of doing something in bad taste. But it gave him an incentive to keep on battling through the disease.

''I was delighted to pay out the £5,000 twice.''

He described Mr Matthews as a very positive man who had given much of his winnings to charity but spent some of them on enjoying himself – smoking, drinking and betting on horses and dogs.

He added: ''He proved that what is often dispiriting news from a doctor doesn't necessarily mean you can't make the most of the time you've got left.''

Mr Matthews said last year: ''I think I'm the first person in the world to bet on my own life.''

He added that the longest doctors at Harefield Hospital in Middlesex had heard of anyone surviving mesothelioma after diagnosis was 25 months.


Jon Matthews was diagnosed with mesothelioma – a cancer linked to asbestos – in April 2006.

But the widower, from Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, refused to accept his doctor's prognosis that he would be dead within months and decided to bet against it.

Source: Telegraph.co.uk