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Joined: 22 Feb 2010
Posts: 4
Location: Queens Creek, AZ

PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 5:25 pm    Post subject: Where to go from here Reply with quote

In September of 2009 the business I contracted with required me to work out in the desert at a location halfway between Phoenix and Tucson and about five miles East of I-10. The work included moving heavy equipment, buildings, tanks and vegetation to a location about 1.5 miles away. By the second day of this activity the ground soil on the path from one location to the other had become so loose that is caused dust thick enough to limit vision down to 25 feet or less at times. Myself, nor the others working there were not assigned respirators or warned of any dangers pertaining to the dust. This work activity continued for a month, six to seven days a week, twelve to sixteen hours a day.

In late October I started feeling weak, fatigued and overall ill including muscle cramps, headaches and chest pain. But continued to work.
By the second week of November I was feeling so bad that I could not work an eight-hour day. Thinking that I was just run down from working so many hours in the heat, I persisted to work as best I could hoping that I would soon recover.

By the end of November I felt even worse and went to see the family Doctor, at this point it was hard to stay awake or function in any productive manner, The body aches and muscle pain was so severe I could not walk on my own, much less any other normal activity. The Doctor thought I might have the H1N1 virus that was going around at that time although the examination was inconclusive and blood was taken and sent out for testing.

A week later I received a message from the Doctor asking that I come in right away, the blood test indicated I had contracted “Valley Fever”. The Doctor started me on Diflucan and after a couple of weeks I did start to feel better but still suffered from fatigue, muscle pain and sleeplessness, among other symptoms. Needless to say I began reading and researching everything I could find about coccidioidomycosis.

In June of 2010 my contract for work was terminated, excuses were made but I know it was due to fact that I could barely function long enough to make it through a six or seven hour work session. After my termination I was talking with a business contact who, enlightened me, that an illness contracted through work activity should be covered by Workman’s Compensation insurance. I filed a claim that was quickly denied. I appealed the decision and took it to the next level, which included a formal court hearing. I had kept a daily journal during all work activities showing the exposure to the extreme dust conditions in the course of work done in the desert, and that I had lived and enjoyed all normal activities at my same place of residence for eight plus years without any contracting anything worse than the common cold. In the end......... the Corporation Commission, which presided over the hearing, told me it was a “coincidence “. I know in heart they were wrong, and that they just swept their dirty little secret back under the carpet!

Before September-October of 2008 I was a very healthy, normal individual who enjoyed life, had hobbies and loved being outdoors and doing things.
Now, four years later still, I am a depressed, debilitated individual that lives with 24/7 pain, sleep deprivation and inability to perform normal life activities. I have not been able to obtain gainful employment because, I believe, once the employer finds out about my disabilities (not something that can be hidden) they are not willing to take the risk.

I have been given many excuses but I believe the facts speak for themselves.
If you have contracted Valley Fever, or if you know someone that has, I pray that God will bless you or that person.

We must hold our signs high, fight and pray until we are heard.
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Joined: 30 Dec 2004
Posts: 912
Location: Creswell, Or

PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


I am sorry to hear about your life changing experience with VF. It breaks my heart ever time I hear a story like yours. I lost my brother to VF and I watched him suffer for 5 months with it. My prayers are for a cure and vaccine. Thank you for telling your story. We need everyone who has or has had VF to tell their stories. Our voices need to be heard so that we can get the money for research to end this vicious disease. You know what they say about the squeaky wheel getting the grease...let's squeak!
God Bless you and keep you,
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Joined: 04 Aug 2012
Posts: 34
Location: Paso Robles

PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 10:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

HI Wayne,

Sorry to hear about your story, the same thing happened to my husband. He could not file a Work comp claim because they could not prove that he contracted the infection from his "work" location.

Just wondering if any other workers became infected from working on that job site, it might help your case. In the meantime you should be able to file for State disability if you have not already.

Keep doing your research, there is great info out there. The NIH, National Institute of Health is one of the federal foundations that gives out grants to the Dr.'s fighting for the cure and vaccine, they need our voice and help.

Sincerely, TNT
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Joined: 07 Jun 2012
Posts: 65
Location: Surprise, AZ

PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 11:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Wayne,

I continue to feel desperately sorry for those workers I see along the 303 widening corrider moving earth around, or those I see on construction sites here in AZ. I also feel both guilty and sorry about landscapers who are asked to plant new plants and blow debris. Few, if any, masks. It's shameful that we let it go on in plain sight, but many, many Arizonans are truly ignorant of the devastation this illness can cause. I know I was. Now I not only warn everyone I can, I wear a mask outside and won't let people come to visit me from out of state.

You have experienced such loss, and it's pathetic that disability is disallowed when EVERYONE KNOWS THIS CAME FROM YOUR JOB. I really can't advise you, except for getting the best physicians you can, but know that we certainly do care.

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Joined: 01 Oct 2012
Posts: 20
Location: Phoenix area

PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 6:01 am    Post subject: Sorry I'm late but Reply with quote

You might want to talk to a personal injury attorney like some you see on TV.
W/C is not by any means the only way to get something done. I've know people who've sued their employer and done ok due to gross negligence (not supplying masks when a known hazard exists). I know in some states W/C does not shield the employer if negligence is involved.
I also know (from experience) that showing you were fine until working in the dust then you weren't is a good way to prove the event (I forget the legal term) so I'd highly suggest a visit. Most times the first consult is free.
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