Sick miners left ‘crying in pain’ by lung disease welcome Labour’s pledge – Today News

Sick miners left ‘crying in pain’ by lung disease welcome Labour’s pledge – Today News


  Sick miners left “crying in pain” by crippling lung disease today welcomed Labour’s pledge to help them   The party announced it will expand lung health checks in or near mining communities and set up specialist lung clinics for retired miners  Fred Smith, 63, from Rotherham, South Yorks, who spent 18 years at Thurcroft Colliery suffers from COPD, emphysema and pleurisy and said the promise left him close to tears  He told the Mirror: “I could cry and I’m so glad Labour are going to help us.  “A lot could have been done for us years ago We used to have basic X-rays when I worked at the pit and they’d say ‘no significant change – you can carry on for another 10 years’  “I couldn’t see my hand sometimes on the coal face and I struggled to breathe. But I was always told I was ok It was a complete lie.  “I only found out how bad I was in the last five years. Now it’s too late and there’s no help for me I can hardly speak or walk because of my lungs and I’ve been in hospital crying in pain ”  Today, the former miner’s “heartbreaking” story also left Shadow Health and Social Care Secretary, Jonathan Ashworth, near tears  Mr Ashworth travelled to Treeton, South Yorks, to meet the former miners and reveal the party’s plan  He vowed to open three new community based rehabilitation services for people with COPD and other respiratory conditions  He said: “Fred’s story makes me want to cry. These are men who worked underground in the most arduous conditions, risking their lives and long-term health to power our nation for decades  “The Tories betrayed the miners when working and today they continue to betray them in retirement ”  Carl Parkinson, 55, who worked at Hatfield Colliery and is currently suffering breathing problems added: “Miners have been treated appallingly ”  Thousands of ex-miners and other workers could be unaware they have diseases like “black lung” caused by pit work  The devastating condition has left miners unable to walk with their lungs choked up from coal dust

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