[ SEVERAL WORKERS WHO TOOK PART IN THE CLEANUP PROCESS OF THE GULF OIL DISASTER ARE COMING FORWARD AND SAYING THEY ARE SICK. DOCTORS SAY SOME OF THESE HEALTH AFFECTS COULD BE PERMANENT.]
By Crystal Brotmeyer
Two years after the worst environmental disaster in history, workers are coming forward to say they are sick.
Jamie Simon use to teach piano before the BP oil disaster. Now, her brain cannot read the notes fast enough to comprehend what she is playing.
Jamie served as the supervising cook for Grand Isle Ship Yard after the spill.
“I would touch their clothes to wash them, they dragged in oil, I didn’t know,” said Jamie.
Her friend Jorey Danos was part of the clean up crew for Vessels of Opportunity, another company that BP hired to help with clean up.
“I was paid 300 dollars a day and didn’t think to question it, ” said Jorey.
Jorey says he started having extreme abdominal pain, headaches, paranoia and memory loss.
Both Jamie and Jorey have been working with Dr. Mike for temporary relief of their physical symptoms.
Dr. Mike said that his patients seem to resemble the same effects of veterans after the Gulf War.
“A lot of them are having GI problems, huge amounts of memory loss, and that’s precisely what the experiences were with the gulf war veterans,” said Dr. Mike, an ears, nose and throat doctor in Raceland.
While Jamie has been through a series of doctors, it was a neurologist who told her she had an elision of the brain known as chemical encephalopathy.
Jorey said while he worked for VO, there were no signs of any MSDS sheets on board and that his request for a respirator was shot down.
“The media was on board flying helicopters. They didn’t want them to think anything was wrong,” said Jorey.
Jamie said she is seen as a hazard in the work place because of her mental conditions and cannot work anymore.
“I want to work but if you tell me to do more than one thing, I can’t remember the first thing you told me to do and I start crying, ” said Jamie.
Still, Jamie said she is determined to get what she deserves.
“I may be stuck like this forever, no one knows. It’s not even about the money. I want BP to acknowledge what they did.”
Neither Jamie nor Jorey are a part of the class action law suit that was recently settled in court with BP. Both Jamie and Jorey say they have hired lawyers to represent them individually.