August 28, 2008
I am a victim of a sludge application that resulted from spraying sludge in the trees around my house. This has affected not only me, but my husband, son and animals. It has completely destroyed our lives and the quality of life that we had before the spraying of this putrid smelling, toxic mess!
Before the sludge company dumped on the land around us we lived in a peaceful place with an abundance of wildlife and in a home that we spent our life savings to build. Now we have a home we cannot occupy and are forced to live elsewhere. Why? Both my husband and I have developed lung diseases and other medical problems that have caused us to have extreme coughing, nose bleeds, itchy eyes, throat irritation and other problems that resemble allergic reactions whenever we go near our home or other sludge sites.
I have a terminal lung disease, pulmonary fibrosis and hypersensitivity pneumonitis, that my doctors believe has come from being exposed to sludge. My husband now has C.O.P.D and asthma -- he had never smoked or been around smoke. He and I are progressively getting worse. My son is now showing more symptoms and my older dog has been having seizures.
I have had to get up in the middle of the night and go sleep in our truck behind our church because I could not breathe. At times my husband has had to go with me. We stay wherever we can and live out of a suitcase. We have a 25 by 8 foot camper that we are trying to find a permanent place for. We need to stay in a place away from any sludge sites for a while so we are able to breathe. We are both senior citizens that are not only sick, but have to worry now about where we will lay our heads for the night.
Does the sludge company care? NO!!!!! Even though they knew that 6 or 7 people were sick they came in with the second application. They KNEW that I had a lung disease and that I could not breathe when this stuff was applied. Did it matter? No. They came back anyway. They do not care at all about human life. The ONLY thing that matters to them is MONEY.
We want to move, we have put the farm up for sale, but can't sell it. Since all our savings is in this place we can't buy another one. The bank would not loan us money against the farm to buy another house because of the sludge that is around our property. It is a risk to the bank. So no matter what we do we are stuck with a home we can't stay in and can't sell. We asked the sludge company and the landowners to relocate us - what a joke! That might cost them some money. Just my medical bills are over half a million dollars and climbing by the day. This is just the beginning, as this disease progresses the medical costs will also. Now my husband is sick. We moved out here to retire and enjoy country life. It has been a nightmare that I can't even begin to put into words! We are grieving for the loss of everything good that was in our life. We have become pass the point of depression; we have nothing to look forward to but more sickness and no one to hear us.
When we tried to fight the sludge company they went into our small community and did everything they could to discredit us with our friends, neighbors and others. They have no defense for what they have done, so they are trying to create one by making us look like the bad guys. My sympathy and heart go out to anyone that is dealing with sludge applications near their homes. I hope that someone in our government system will see what sludge does to human lives and will have the guts to stand up to these powerful companies and stop this insanity before anyone else suffers or dies.
Sandra Wyatt. Claremont, VA.