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Thread: A Fallen Hero - Video Inside

  1. #351
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Barnegat man's work at WTC leaves him ill, facing foreclosure

    By EMILY PREVITI Staff Writer, 609-978-2014
    Published: Saturday, October 20, 2007

    BARNEGAT TOWNSHIP - Charles Giles has endured failing health, mounting medical bills and limitations to life as he knew it before Sept. 11, 2001.

    Soon, he might add homelessness to the list.

    When Giles, then an EMT, responded to the disaster scene at the World Trade Center more than six years ago, he didn't think it would later cost him his home.

    But days of inhaling fumes at the site continue to provoke health problems that have prevented Giles from working. The problems were compounded by unanswered medical claims.

    Family hardships that began with cutting out cable TV have culminated in their home's foreclosure in March and impending sheriff's sale Oct. 30.

    Ocean County sheriff's records show Giles appealed the sale and that the sheriff's office twice delayed the sale originally set for Aug. 21. Judge Fred A. Buczynski pushed the date from Sept. 18 to Oct. 30.

    Giles said he hopes to block the sale by filing suit against Wachovia Bank for alleged missteps in their dealings with him but acknowledged that it would likely take a "miracle" to prevent the auction.

    Giles' attorney did not return calls for comment.

    Wachovia Bank spokespeople declined to comment because their confidentiality policy prohibits talking about clients.

    Giles said he missed his first mortgage payment in November 2006, four years and eight months after he closed on the house (the family moved from Bergen County to Barnegat Township in 2002). He has $216,320 left to pay for his home, plus $9,318.57 in legal costs related to foreclosure proceedings, according to Mary Batot, principal clerk for foreclosures in the Ocean County Sheriff's Office.

    "If my 9-11 case was processed when should have been, none of this would have been happening," Giles said.

    Giles has faced red tape with multiple agencies: Safe Horizon, New York's Crime Victims Board, New York's Workers' Compensation Board and others. As he waits, medical costs keep mounting.

    Giles took oral steroids for five years to treat worsening asthma, which caused bone loss and eventually required replacement of his right hip. He anticipates at least two other surgeries: replacement of the other hip and his right knee are pending and a lung transplant is possible. In addition to incurring bills, complications -14 prescriptions, fractioned pulmonary function and hip replacement and another two or three pending surgeries - have prohibited the father of two from working. With doctors' visits and $400 worth of prescriptions, Giles said he faces more than $1,000 in medical bills each month. And his disability ran out this fall.

    Giles, who started working as an emergency responder 16 years ago, is quick to emphasize he would choose to respond to the emergency again. The self-described workaholic still craves the challenges of the job and currently serves on the board of the Pinewood Estates Volunteer Fire Company.

    "I want to work," Giles said. "I feel like I let my family down."

    Giles said he, his wife and their 12 and 15-year-old daughters would likely seek a local apartment if their home is sold at the end of this month. The family wants to stay in Barnegat, Giles said, so the girls can finish school there and to stay in the warm embrace of the community that has extended services to them.

    These recent developments in Giles' plight come on the heels of a decision by the New York City medical examiner to reject the Ocean County Medical Examiner's ruling that the death of New York Police Department Detective James Zadroga, 34, of Little Egg Harbor, was directly related to his work at Ground Zero. Zadroga retired to his parents' home in Little Egg Harbor after getting sick.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  2. #352
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    9/11 Worker's Kin Rejects Death Ruling

    By AMY WESTFELDT – 3 days ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Fresh from ruling that World Trade Center dust did not kill a police detective, a medical examiner offered the man's relatives other reasons Friday for his death, an explanation the family found "not acceptable," their lawyer said.

    Chief Medical Examiner Charles Hirsch would not publicly elaborate on his findings in the death of James Zadroga, who had worked hundreds of hours in the toxic dust at ground zero after the Sept. 11 attacks, Hirsch's spokeswoman said. Hirsch asked the family not to disclose what he told them, said Michael Barasch, the Zadrogas' attorney.

    "Dr. Hirsch felt that there were other reasons for Zadroga's death. The family disagrees with it. I disagree with it," Barasch said. The doctor "came up with reasons that were not acceptable to us," the attorney said.

    Zadroga became gravely ill within four years of the attack, was relegated to a wheelchair and wound up taking a potent mixture of prescription drugs to treat his illness. He died last year of respiratory failure at age 34, and health care advocates have cited his death as a "sentinel case" — the first health-related casualty linked to ground zero, suggesting there would be more to follow.

    Rejecting another medical examiner's autopsy, Hirsch said in a letter to Zadroga's family this week that his death was not caused by exposure to trade center dust.

    Hirsch agreed with a New Jersey medical examiner's finding that there was foreign matter in Zadroga's lungs. The New Jersey medical examiner had said the granular material in his lungs was consistent with dust, but Hirsch emphatically ruled out environmental exposure as the cause.

    Experts say that one alternate medical theory for foreign granular matter in the lungs is a history of intravenous drug injections. In 1981, Hirsch co-wrote a key medical paper on the subject.

    Zadroga was taking intravenous painkillers and had taken steroids, all prescribed by doctors for his respiratory problems, before his death, Barasch said Friday. He never took drugs that were not prescribed for him, he added.

    "If the drugs contributed to his death, it makes no difference as far as what our perspective is. He was taking all the medication for all the toxins he inhaled," Barasch said. "This was a squeaky clean New York City detective who was in tip-top shape."

    Zadroga spent 470 hours working in the smoking twin towers' rubble, using only a paper mask. He developed a cough within weeks and retired within three years.

    He became the face of post-Sept. 11 illness after his death, galvanizing lawmakers and health care advocates to lobby for research and treatment for thousands who said the debris-filled air at ground zero made them sick.

    "What was in his lungs was consistent with what was down at ground zero," said Michael Palladino, president of the Detectives' Endowment Association, Zadroga's union. "It just can't be a coincidence that this 34-year-old kid who was healthy prior to 9/11 became deathly ill post-9/11."

    Palladino and others derided Hirsch's ruling Friday, saying his conclusions defied other experts who performed Zadroga's autopsy or treated him while he was alive. Palladino said a police medical board had concluded that Zadroga could leave his job on medical disability because of illness caused by his post-Sept. 11 work.

    Zadroga's family, who had become public advocates for the health of ground zero workers, had asked Hirsch to review the case and officially add Zadroga's name to the Sept. 11 victims' toll. In May, the medical examiner added the first health-related casualty to the victims' list, a woman who died of a lung-scarring disease five months after she was caught in the dust cloud formed by the twin towers' collapse.

    Gerard Breton, the New Jersey pathologist who performed Zadroga's autopsy, said that Zadroga had inflamed lung tissue, an enlarged heart and material that appeared to be dust in his lungs.

    "It is felt with a reasonable degree of medical certainty that the cause of death in this case was directly related to the 9/11 incident," he wrote in March 2006. On Friday, he told The Associated Press, "I stick to that report." He declined further comment.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  3. #353
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Senate votes to extend 9/11 health aid

    Thursday, October 25th 2007, 4:00 AM

    The Senate has approved a $55 million fund to help care for people exposed to toxins from the Sept. 11 attacks.

    The funding would extend monitoring and treatment from first responders and emergency personnel to residents, workers and others who breathed the contaminated air in lower Manhattan.

    "Passage of this bill by the Senate is great news for those who still suffer from the lingering effects of the 9/11 attacks," Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) said Wednesday.

    The bill, approved Tuesday night, comes as an addition to the $50 million already allocated in the 2008 fiscal year.

    The measure encourages the development of long-term solutions to screen and treat everyone affected by the post-9/11 risks.

    Health problems suffered by the thousands who were affected range from asthma to posttraumatic stress.

    "The message of this vote is clear," said Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). "America is here for you in your time of need."

    The bill will now go to the House.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  4. #354
    simuvac Guest

    Doctor: Drug use caused 9/11 cop's death

    Oct. 25, 2007, 1:40PM
    Doctor: Drug use caused 9/11 cop's death

    By AMY WESTFELDT Associated Press Writer
    © 2007 The Associated Press

    NEW YORK — The city's medical examiner concluded that the misuse of pills, not the dust of ground zero, caused the lung disease that killed a man who became a nationally known example of post-Sept. 11 illness, the examiner's spokeswoman confirmed Thursday.

    Chief Medical Examiner Charles Hirsch concluded that retired police detective James Zadroga got the lung disease that killed him by injecting ground-up pills into his bloodstream, leaving traces of the pills in the lung tissue, spokeswoman Ellen Borakove told The Associated Press.

    "It is our opinion that that material entered his body via the bloodstream and not via the airways," she said.

    She confirmed Hirsch's findings after Zadroga's father and lawyer said Hirsch told them Zadroga's death was caused by the misuse of prescription drugs — not the more than 450 hours he spent toiling at the World Trade Center site after the Sept. 11 attacks.

    A New Jersey medical examiner had ruled last year that Zadroga died from inhaling toxic ground zero dust, but the family asked Hirsch for a second opinion — and a ruling that would add Zadroga to the official Sept. 11 victims' list.

    Last week Hirsch wrote a letter to Zadroga's father, Joseph, saying he believed "with certainty beyond doubt" that the dust did not cause his son's death, but Hirsch's conclusions about the real cause were not released by his office until Thursday.

    His office did not say what drug or drugs were injected. Joseph Zadroga said the former detective was taking more than a dozen medications when he died, including anti-anxiety medicine and painkillers including OxyContin, but never ground up pills and injected them. He said he kept his son's medication locked in a safe in their New Jersey home and said his son was not capable of taking medicine himself.

    "His mother and I were taking care of him," Joseph Zadroga said. "He wasn't ever able to correctly take his medication."

    Michael Baden, a pathologist asked by the family to review the case after getting Hirsch's letter, said that slides of James Zadroga's lung tissue showed large glass fibers and other foreign particles that were mostly close to the airways, a sign of material that had been inhaled. He said that if Zadroga had been grinding down pills and injecting them, his autopsy report would have noted scars and needle tracks on his arms.

    "You can't make a diagnosis, in my opinion, of intravenous injections of ground-down pills on the basis of these slides," said Baden, the chief forensic pathologist for the New York State police. He has often testified as an expert witness at high-profile trials.

    After James Zadroga died in January 2006, bills were named after him in Congress to fund research and treatment for those who became ill after working in the smoking ruins of the trade center.

    So far, Hirsch has changed the death certificate of only one person — a woman who died five months after the attacks — saying that exposure to the toxic dust cloud caused or worsened her lung disease.

  5. #355
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    John just told me that a "famous" medical examiner agrees with the NJ Medical Examiner.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  6. #356
    dMole Guest

    Related info at

    Be sure to read Etta Sanders' letter. I'll only quote my 911blogger comment here- it seems appropriate to this thread (I'm a little burned out on the divisiveness over at 911blogger, and my language is probably too NC-17 for them anyway. The search function seems a little jacked-up when I searched for "Etta Sanders").

    "NYC Downwinders"
    My father died several years ago due to exposure to radioactive atom bomb fallout in southwestern Utah back in the 1950s and 1960s. His pulmonary fibrosis was very similar to what most of the uranium miners also died from. 3 of the 6 brothers all developed lung disease and none of them were smokers.

    Sadly, Etta Sanders' symptoms appear to me to qualify her as a "Downwinder," although that term was traditionally reserved for residents of Nevada and Utah in the 1950s and 1960s. It is tragic that the pervasive, spherical asbestos and dust clouds put much of NYC "down-wind" on Sept. 11, 2001.

    I'd like to remind everyone that the United States Government used atomic weapons on New Mexico BEFORE they dropped the "Fat Man" and "Little Boy" on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The United States Government also kept using nuclear weapons at the Nevada Test Site until 1993, when underground testing was finally stopped. "Divine Strake" was the Bush regime's recent attempt to resume "simulated?" nuclear tests in 2006. Just think for a second how long it would take to haul 700 tons of ANFO explosive to "simulate" a nuclear "bunker buster" at the NTS...

    Rest assured, our "leaders" in Washington DC appear to have no qualms about putting United States citizens at risk from nuclear, chemical, and biological agents (smallpox-infested blankets were re-distributed to help solve the "Native American" problem back in the 1800s, and do some research on Dugway Proving Ground and Fort Dietrich MD- those appear to be the sources of our "anthrax" terror of 2001).

    We really need to stop (meaning impeach and incarcerate) these murderous criminals and their "national SUCKurity" secrecy before it is too late.

  7. #357
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Debate about cause of officer's death endangers 9/11 bill

    Associated Press - October 25, 2007 4:23 AM ET

    WASHINGTON (AP) - The debate about a police detective's death endangers a bill to treat ailing Ground Zero workers.

    Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, the leading Democratic presidential contender, named her September 11th health bill after Detective James Zadroga. Zadroga died at age 34 after working extensively at Ground Zero.

    But the New York City Medical Examiner concluded last week that the foreign matter found in Zadroga's lungs definitely did not come from dust generated at the World Trade Center site.

    That conclusion will create extra hurdles for lawmakers trying to get the federal government to pay for treatment for ailing Ground Zero workers.

    Many medical experts say an alternate cause for foreign matter in lungs is intravenous drug use.

    Zadroga's family admits he took a potent mixture of drugs to treat his illness, but says the drugs were legitimately prescribed by doctors.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  8. #358
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Benefit for 9/11 responder tonight

    Posted by the Asbury Park Press on 10/26/07

    BARNEGAT: The Pinewood Estates Volunteer Fire Company will host a benefit tonight for 9/11 responder Charlie Giles, hoping to raise enough money to halt foreclosure proceedings on his home, members of the company said.

    Giles, a worker with CityWide EMS who volunteered for weeks after the attack, has been unable to work in recent years because of health problems that he traces back to his work at ground zero.

    The event starts at 7:30 p.m. at the Pinewood Estates firehouse, 99 Route 72.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  9. #359
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Smearing a hero of 9/11

    Friday, October 26th 2007, 4:00 AM

    There is mounting evidence that the city's chief medical examiner libeled the memory of Detective James Zadroga by ruling that the cop's long, arduous service at Ground Zero had nothing to do with his tragic death. Dr. Charles Hirsch appears to have committed a gross injustice that no apology can ever set right.

    With the brutal, clinical efficiency of a man accustomed to working with flesh on ice, Hirsch last week summarily notified Zadroga's family that, to a "certainty beyond doubt," something other than breathing the toxic remains of the World Trade Center had turned the cop's lungs to leather. Hirsch didn't say publicly then what that fatal something might be. But now, the doctor has spoken.

    Monstrously, Hirsch said yesterday that, in his opinion, Zadroga brought about his own demise by crushing pill medications and taking them intravenously. Writ large, Hirsch blamed the victim and, even worse, left the lingering, disgraceful implication that Zadroga was a drug abuser.

    He wasn't. And it is a sorry necessity to have to state those words about a dedicated cop and father of a young child, who worked for 450 hours in the thick of the poisonous cloud, began coughing after two weeks and suffered a steady, irrevocable descent to suffocation at age 34. Zadroga died despite excellent medical care, and his autopsy found that his lungs were filled with substances that hung in the air over The Pile. Among them, carbon, silica, calcium phosphate - found in concrete - talc and cellulose.

    The New Jersey medical examiner who autopsied Zadroga concluded the toxins destroyed his lungs. Dr. Michael Baden, a former city chief medical examiner who is now the state police forensic pathologist, reviewed and confirmed the autopsy findings. And now Hirsch says that, beyond all question, he knows better.

    All agree that crushing pills and injecting the powder can introduce talc and cellulose into the bloodstream. And all agree the substances can damage the lungs. Adding up those facts, and looking at microscopic slides of Zadroga's tissues, Hirsch says he has proof positive that the fatal injury began with materials in Zadroga's blood.

    Baden, who is not being paid by Zadroga's family, emphatically differs with Hirsch: "I don't know what he would have to permit him to make the strong diagnosis he did, and whatever it is, he is wrong." So much for Hirsch's "certainty beyond doubt."

    As for substantiating the medical examiner's judgment, his spokeswoman offered explanations that only made Hirsch's conduct more outrageous. She said Hirsch is not questioning that Zadroga became ill at Ground Zero; he has only concluded that injecting crushed pills was the intervening cause of death.

    Here, then, is Hirsch's hypothesis for what happened: Zadroga serves his city and country valiantly, becomes agonizingly ill and injects painkillers. This is just a theory, because Zadroga's family says no such injections ever took place. But let's say Hirsch is right.

    In that event, the truth is Zadroga - desperately ill, fighting for breath, heavily medicated and often out of touch with reality - tried to ease his own suffering as best he could.

    Suffering that befell Zadroga only because he responded to 9/11.

    Suffering brought on by inhaling the pulverized remains of the fallen twin towers.

    Suffering that caused the death of a New York hero.

    Suffering that was cavalierly trashed by a medical examiner whose continued tenure in office must be closely reviewed.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  10. #360
    AuGmENTor Guest
    Dr. Charles Hirsch needs to be tried as a criminal for falsifying documents. I wonder how much pressure he was under to do so.

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