There are so many stories about the difficulties of having a disease related to asbestos exposure. Many are heartbreaking because there actually could’ve been a way to prevent it, having removed the asbestos.
I am going to share the stories of 3 people whose lives have been deeply affected because of asbestos. Hilton Manuel Sr., and a coupe from Ambler Pennsylvania, Robert and Laura.
First I am going to share the story of Hilton Manuel Sr. of Louisiana. He was diagnosed with asbestosis on June 6, 2013. Asbestosis is when someone breathes in the fibers of asbestos and they get caught in their lungs. Asbestosis is the cause of death for more than 1,000 Americans each year. One thing that makes asbestosis especially dangerous is that it makes it even more likely for the person to develop mesothelioma, a lung cancer that often is the result of asbestos exposure.
Hilton Manuel Sr. was a man who took much pride in his work. He dropped out of school to go into the workforce. He ended up getting a job at Morton Salt in Weeks Island, Louisiana. Morton Salt is one of the most popular brands of salt, it produces salt for food, water conditioning, agricultural, industrial, and road/highway use. It wasn’t until later in his days of retirement that he was officially diagnosed with asbestosis. His daughter, Sheena says “I remember the first day I realized something was wrong. As we laughed at one of his crazy jokes getting out of the car, I realized that his breath was heavy and labored.” Hilton fought a hard fight against asbestosis but on December 10, 2018 he took his last breath.
Next I am going to share the story of Robert and Laura of Ambler Pennsylvania. Robert and Laura bought their first house in 2002. The house was built in 2961, and at this point they were totally uneducated about asbestos. The house was not in super good condition, but it was what they could afford and they planned to fix it up. The young couple ambitiously dived into the renovations. They removed appliances, ripped up tiles, prepared siding,added a ridge vent into the roof, sanded the wood floors where old adhesive materials remained stuck from glued-on linoleum. They put all of their energy and intelligence into making this home they dreamed for it to be.
It was only later that they found out, that the roof shingles, siding, floor tiles, and the sheetrock joint compound all contained asbestos. All of their love and labor they put into this home has turned into fear. Mesothelioma can take ten to fifty years to show symptoms, Robert and Laura know that they put them selves, their daughter and there pets at risk. They all have to have blood tests yearly, chest x-rays every two years and a C.T. scan every 5 years. They don’t know if they are going to die from this mistake, but they surely want others to be educated and aware of this risk.