Oil-spill health impact studied, Daily Comet, February 24, 2011:
... “What is your research going to do for a guy like me that’s sitting at home dying every day?” Clayton Matherne, a 35-year-old Bayou Blue resident, asked National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Director Linda Birnbaum at a meeting Wednesday in Montegut. ...
Matherne said he believes the study may be too little, too late for him. He said he was diagnosed with benzene poisoning after he worked skimming oil on the Gulf in May and has since suffered increasingly severe health effects.
“They found out my lungs almost completely shut down,” he said. “I cough up chunks of meat. Black stuff comes out of my nose and ears. I’ve lost half my eyesight.”
He also has neurological problems, he said, including seizures. Due to his illness, Matherne said he can no longer work, and medical bills and household expenses consumed small legal settlement he received. He and his wife, who care for their two grandchildren have lost their house and depend on help from charity organizations to survive. Matherne said he can’t afford some of the medicines and care doctors have recommended.
Read the report here.