It is 4:45 in the morning, darkness outside. The alarm clock sounds – the most hated sound at the beginning of the day. He hits him, half asleep. Trying to get out of sleep so comfortable, all he can think of is how he will need a little more time to get up. 5 minutes, the tops! A minute later, a second alarm goes off, ripping it back to its inertia. Feeling that it would be futile to keep fighting, he goes to his timepiece and rolls gently out of bed.
His wife sinks peacefully, he peeks at her – they are married since high school and he is still in love with her. Through the painful times, when their world seemed to collapse, he learned to love him even more. He is grateful to have him in his life, but hardly recognizes him. A tired smile grows from the corner of his mouth when he gets up, goes to the bathroom and gets ready.
Half an hour later, he goes to get his lunch box in the kitchen, grabs his equipment and locks the door. leave his house. "I hope this crazy leak will finally be repaired today!" he thinks, as he jumps into his truck, backs off the driveway and heads for work. A pipeline broke out at one of the wells near the elevator, flooding the central area at the top. Entering and leaving the mine has since become a pain. He oversees an asbestos mine at the middle management level, just under 13 years old now. He has been working there for 30 years.
It's now 6 am and it's just coming out. As he puts down his helmet and heads for the mine, his foreman meets him, ironically joking about how he did not have it last night, and then talks to him about the day. He glances at the list, sifting through the pages of the activity journal. "Tunnel 6 approaches 80% completion"
– Whoa! If the guys continue at this rate, we will finish the project 6 weeks in advance. he thinks of himself. "Good start, boys!"
Before climbing the stairs to his office behind the main entrance, he looks to his left and notices something he is not happy at all. The central area is still flooded and is now leaking the elevator.
"Inside his office, he drops his equipment in the closet, sinks into his office chair and starts assembling files of the week on the tunnel exit 5 He has led all project management since he was foreman and despite his vast experience and almost irreproachable background during his career, he always gets nervous every time he runs a project. These are the same butterflies in his belly that he has not been able to get rid of over the years. They were probably responsible for his high performance, he says, so he does not particularly care.
3 minutes pass and a tiny pile of reports has already accumulated in front of him, on his heavily cluttered desk of documents. ; he still needs a few more before meeting his team, then phone the agency to crack the straw on lousy entrepreneurs. The pictures of her daughter, when she was a child, hang out behind him on the wall. Portraits of his wife and son pose next to him. How time passes! Yesterday still, it seemed, he was throwing his daughter in the air, as she still loved; She is now about to graduate from college, with a specialization in cybernetic engineering and $ 23,000 in debt. And his son, now a freshman freshman at a large private university, does not stop calling and texting about the girl for which he recently fell in love, whose he is this time convinced that she is the only one.
The last pair of reports that he was looking for. At the bottom of the pile as always, when you are looking for something. Now, off to inform guys. He closes the door of his office but suddenly he feels dizzy and has incredible pain in his chest – like a heavyweight boxing match for the world title, trying to get out of it. He feels feverish at the same time and is, inexplicably, out of breath. The day has not even begun and it usually feels like that, halfway there. It's been a few months now, but he shrugged it off as a normal thing that comes with age. At 59, he enters a new phase of life and embraces his first years off.
It is at the point where he descends almost stairs that he notices his pale hands, after wiping the sweat off his forehead. Barely able to breathe, it eclipses a few seconds later and falls head first on the floor, since the last three steps of the stairs.
The next thing he realizes is that he is lying on a bed, without the usual sounds and sound in the atmosphere. "The day could not be over! Where did everyone go?
Groggy, he opens his eyes, to notice that he's not even at work anymore. He is in a private room that looks like a hospital. He is filled with machines, medical equipment, a large window behind him on the left … and his wife sitting next to him, holding his right hand. He is really in a hospital … but has no idea how he got there!
A doctor comes in and talks to his wife. She tells him that she would like to keep it a little longer, to observe it and to do some tests. His wife becomes agitated and her right hand is now in a hurry. & # 39; What's the problem with it? & # 39; she asks the doctor, in a crackling voice. We do not know yet. At this point, it is too early to say. The tests will refine the diagnoses and confirm what we will have to do. the doctor answers. She continues: "Your husband had a high fever, his pale skin suggests, among other possibilities, anemia. Because it is minor, we will not rule out the possibility of developing rare forms of cancer that can be caused by asbestos inhalation.
"My husband has been working in the mine for over 30 years! He could not have such a thing! the woman exclaims. The doctor looks a little surprised at her naivety, then tactfully refutes "the agreement, but such diseases, if present, take a long time to develop fully," and then interrupts before Carry on. "Well, as I said. We would like to keep an open mind and perform all necessary diagnoses as a precaution … just to be sure! The tests will include, but are not limited to, x-rays and CT / MRI scans. If all goes well, he should be out in a week! "
The miner closes his eyes again, in thought." Seven whole days! This should remove the leak from my back and push another crazy clown! "
The doctor leaves the room and he starts to relax more.His chest is still tense, but the boxing match is over for the moment.This was probably a draw! This fall should have me get out .I have the impression that parts of my head are in a coma! "he mumbles.Her wife, meanwhile sitting next to him again, looks up at him in shock. You're lucky to be still alive! The foreman found you on the floor, lying face down on the stairs. The 1st Aid struggled to bring you back until the arrival of Ambulance and that's the first thing that comes out of your mouth? "She lets out." She quickly becomes so angry, her eyes fill with tears. "She gets up, turns away sharply from him as she starts. she drops her hand in disgust, walks away from her bed, goes to the door, bends her head back with both hands and turn deeply, then expire once. Awesome! Now he checked it. He closes his eyes again, returning to his thoughts. & # 39; Fire in the hole! 3 … 2 … 1 …
She turns to him, & # 39; If I were given a moment for every time I went there for you whenever you were in need, I would have two successive lives to catch me, you ungrateful, … ungrateful,. .. you … !!
He feels that he will have to diffuse the situation quickly otherwise the volcano will burst! He gathers his strength, leans painfully forward and mumbles thereafter, "Honey … I had no idea." He reaches out, "Come on darling … I'm sorry! His voice was soaking with pain. She returns to his place, wiping his cheeks, he lies down on his pillow and slowly expires for a few seconds. Sheesh! If I continue like that, I'll take it off!
They stand again.
A few days pass and the couple is still together in the hospital room. The swelling of the head of the fall has diminished and its fever is gone. His chest does not feel so good but he is sure everything will be fine. They have just finished lunch and are discussing how long it will take before returning to work. The door opens, it is the doctor. They greet. His wife is not able to hide the smile on his face. She has decided today to leave, so she only expects good news from the results. The doctor discusses with the minor and checks how he feels, while another doctor enters. A tall man holding a big file. The woman can not distinguish what's in it but can recognize an X-ray sheet, taking a look at it. Instantly, without even trying to doubt herself, she concludes that this has turned out to be more serious than she thought. Her free mood falls faster than the 2008 stock market crash. She struggles to hold back her emotions, sucking on her lips.
The doctor introduces the tall gentleman, "This is our resident diagnostic agent here at Memorial Hope." The officer nods politely towards the couple, they nod. She continues: "After several hours of examination with the best medical team in the region …" she pauses, then continues: "I'm afraid we've come to the conclusion that your condition is much worse than expected."
The miner slowly engulfs what must look like an ounce of saliva, in fear . He is as hard as he can and took his fair share of blows in life and continued, but was honestly of the opinion that they were, thank God, more. & # 39; & # 39 Wait!; he thinks. "Do not thank him again!"
The doctor then announces in a monotonous voice: "Our results conclusively confirm that you have mesothelioma, a terminal cancer that affects your lungs. It has already spread to more than half of its area. At this point, you will only have eight months left!
Immediately, the miner hurried, then, in the pain of speaking, shouted to his wife, "Make me a trash! "
has already burst into tears, grabs the wastebasket from the corner and holds it in front of him. He throws his head just above the cornice and throws it right in. His wife pat him on the back, all the way. "I'm really sorry! There is nothing we can do. We have implemented a treatment plan that you will follow, which includes ingestion of pain relieving medications. the doctor said, trying to appease despair in the desperation of the situation. The diagnostic officer, blushing anguish, leaned over to his colleague and whispers: "This may not be the time to show the results, is not it?"
The doctor, obviously irritated by what she had just heard, gestures He hurriedly out of his hand, then console the couple.
A few minutes later and a trash can full of fresh vomit later, the woman, now moaning uncontrollably, whispers: "We just finished … pay our mortgage. Our kids are cared for … we were looking forward to a vacation cruise! Wha … wha … what are we supposed to do now? Then weeping heavily, this time being kissed by the middle-aged doctor.The woman sits next to her husband when she stands up and shakes hands, tight! , whispering almost, "In all my life, I never thought that it would happen to me.It's always the other guy!" Looking through the window.
C & # 039; Is a sunny day, not a cloud in the sky.Perfect for picnicking, strolling in the park – smell the roses!
At this moment, an eagle lands on the ledge, on the outside The doctor and the miner notice for a moment the bird, a little disconcerted.The eagle looks out the window in the room, as if lost and unable to find what he had come to see. Unexpected, the miner and the eagle lock the eyes and watch for a moment! The eagle then flies away.
The miner finds himself with a subtle impression. seconds later, he turns around. He calmly clears his voice, fighting tears from his eyes as he looks at the doctor, then begins, "Tell me doc … what can we do over the next one?" period? Less than a year is not a long time! He holds his face and eventually collapses to let the tears follow their course. Join his wife, who has quietly sobbed all the way. The doctor, now clearly affected by the misfortune of his patient, despite his professional experience, takes a step towards his bed.
"Find a lawyer! Sue the pants of your employer! It's a long time to take over and you do not have enough time anyway now! She stops abruptly, conscious of being perhaps insensitive. "I do not know how to say these things … just fight for your right through a good mesothelioma lawyer. Drop a lawsuit that will make up for everything you've lost.
She turns to the woman and shakes her hand sympathetically, then looks at the miner and says, "You are in my prayers! leaves the room
It's been four days since the diagnosis. The couple came out of the hospital, the minor is with his wife in a major law firm, in the big city nearby, 40 minutes drive from the house. They were referred to the firm by the doctor, who personally asked a very good lawyer to his "friends at the top" of Memorial Hope Hospital. When she found one and contacted the lawyer, she pleaded that he was treating their pro bono case as a personal favor to her. On the phone, she said, "They are really good people. Life can be so cruel sometimes. It's a shame to cry what happened to them, a real tragedy!
The couple just finished telling their story to the lawyer. He is sitting at his desk, through them, in his corner office overlooking the skyline of the metropolis. He listened carefully, without ever interrupting. Throughout the narration, he nodded, while twisting his Mont Blanc pen around his fingers. The miner's wife, meanwhile cynically disposed to life itself, looks at the advocate of his chair, almost threatening. His eyes are gloomy but alert. It is obvious that she cried profusely these past two days. The folds under her eyes are profiled deeper into her face and she now looks 10 years older. The miner himself is still pale, but now as composed as he is usually. There was a youthful vigor around him; it's gone. In our day he appears frail; a shadow of his old self. As a man of his age, working in the service sector, about
the lawyer discreetly clears his throat. His face looks like a big brainstorming. Gently, he puts his pen in front of him. "What happened to you is a case of extreme neglect of the workers. You have worked in hazardous conditions, which you have not been personally protected by adequate measures, during your 30-year career. A rare disease that you may have been prevented from developing, now severely affects you and is in its final terminal stages. he says. "It gives you a way to pressure your employer to get the maximum compensation for your losses, both in terms of health and financial."
Then he stops for a moment. The miner's wife who, last week, lost all her natural optimism and becomes very bitter of the cards that life has played to her, opens her eyes significantly wider, despite her skepticism. The lawyer continues: "There are four ways to achieve this, one of which will be the most realistic method to succeed our legal proceedings. You must understand that because your illness has developed so late, other options may not have a great chance of winning your case. Think of it as trying to speed up a car at a standstill, second or even third, if possible, when the highest and most efficient torque comes from first gear. The miner nods in understanding, knowing exactly what he means.
"Mesothelioma lawsuits are complex and each case is unique and can not be generically a universal solution. However, cases can be categorized into four categories. Product liability, malpractice, workers' compensation and wrongful death. According to what your doctor has already said, in addition to your elaborate statements, I recommend that we pursue for workers compensation. This is the most appropriate dispute in your case, to give you an example, it will be proven that the mining group would have exposed you to asbestos, illicitly during your work. The company will therefore be fully responsible for your tragic incident and will have to pay a very large sum in compensation. If a strong argument is presented, which we will propose, the executives of management will have nowhere to go, because even if they go bankrupt, federal injunctions could be withdrawn to make the full payment. It's bullet-proof! And as a personal guarantee … I have been working in this field for 25 years. I understand it from the inside. My reputation precedes me in the industry. I have strong ties with unions, agencies and health care providers nationwide. I do not say that as an audition for you. I say it because I want you to know who you are dealing with … and what it means when I say that I will personally assure you that you both get your maximum entitlement that we can squeeze out of them. I will do everything I can. Let them dry … out of the file! The miner manages to reveal a relieved smile. His wife becomes exalted, she becomes emotional again and hurries to get some cloth out of her purse, as she tightens again and again. With all the crying that she has done since, you would think that she would have become good now!
The minor reaches out and rubs her back. The lawyer had seen it all but during all those years when he was working with asbestos victims, he was never able to overcome the sheer nature of pure human emotion – the sorrow, the anguish that he felt in any case. Each one alone. Everyone had a deep story to tell. None of the clients could really understand WHY but they all shared one thing in common; they had all been afflicted by such a catastrophic ordeal that just no one thought it would happen. But that was the case and this had become their reality.
The lawyer himself is fine. It has a Carrera and a 5 bedroom country villa in the city districts. Business is good and he has retired every year with well-groomed investment portfolios. His wife, a former national beauty contest finalist, owns and runs a successful cosmetics chain, which spans three countries. They do not have children. He is in his mid-sixties. He has developed a thick skin to withstand chess and overcome success in the industry. Nevertheless, all its material wealth has never totally isolated it from the powerful emotions of mere despair. Whenever his clients "took a moment," he psychologically removed a piece. And no success can protect you from that! Like inhaling passive smoke: It sucks your life in nets, exponentially confirming your death sentence … by cancer.
Empathizing with the woman, the lawyer enters the drawer from the bottom of her mahogany desk, takes out a box of luxury fabrics and hands to the miner's wife. & # 39; Thank you sir, we really appreciate your help! & # 39; The miner says his wife catches a handful of fabric in the box and tries to stop a seemingly relentless flow of tears. "It's just a difficult time for us.We are so confronted …" the miner swallows, inhales and expires once, then continues his sick voice, the one who has had the joys of a long life evaporated overnight, in large amounts. "We do not know where to go from here, so we simply put everything to God." A shallow smile briefly appears on his face. our support! "
The lawyer adds," In view of the extraordinary circumstances surrounding you, your doctor has urged me to be indulgent for your legal fees and I am in agreement So I decided to represent you, as promised … pro bono! "
The miner flashes his eyebrows as his eyes light up. He clearly can not believe what he had just heard. His wife, halfway to her tears now, is curling with a slightly cynical voice, & # 39; He must support us already! & # 39; as she laughs, while her husband, raising his raised eyebrows, smiles at him. The lawyer too, but in defensive and guarded behavior. God bless you, sir! the miner says. His wife in a soliloquy speaks semi-melancholy: "In the depths of your tribulations and misery, an angel often appears …" Looking out the windows, she starts to humming melodically and drifts in an absence – her new way of being dissociate
The lawyer presents to the minor the contracts and reviews them, while regularly checking the minor's wife who seems to make no effort to return to "reality". Her buzz in where she is is pretty good enough for her. She will stay there for a moment, if only for a moment. He will summon the strength he needs to continue to live this nightmare. One moment at a time. The minor signs in the spaces where the lawyer's index moves. When he finishes, they get up and shake hands while the miner's wife, dismayed, goes out of her spell. What could be worse: this place or this reality?
She gets up by grabbing the arm of her husband, brave a brief smile at the lawyer, without shaking his hand. The couple is coming out of the modern office complex that houses several law firms, consulting firms, an accounting firm and a S.E.O. marketing company. All that swarms around are people in business suits and skirts, coming in and out of the doorway into a frenzy … followed by a couple of geeks dressed casually, obvious. Armed with arms, the two elders huddle together, while they walk slowly through the parking lot to their truck. They enter the vehicle slowly; his wife pulls the keys and ignites the truck. It's an old Durango. They reverse on the parking lot and return home.
A week later, a workers' compensation claim is filed against the mining group by the couple's lawyer. Five days later, the hearings begin, as promised. The lawyer transmits a powerful case against the defendant. The minor was first at the opening of the case, but then ceased to appear due to his treatments supervised by his doctor at Memorial Hope. His children were also present with their parents throughout the medical schedule. They were told the news when their parents felt that they had everything under control, much to the chagrin of their daughter. A week after his treatments, the miner stopped responding to the medications administered and quickly deteriorated in terms of health. At this point, he was quickly hospitalized again. His family, not missing a single event, cried in torment through all this. Two days later, he died. His family cried privately for days and buried him at the end of this week. If God rested that day, they decided, He will do it too! They say when you die, your life is blinking in front of you. This does not seem to be different when someone you love dies too. All you continue to see are images of every little precious time you have shared with that special person throughout your life together. As they fill your mind and all you see are real images and living memories of that person, in a gigantic virtual reality simulation in a vivid, high definition, 3D movie experience.
a lawsuit was filed against the mining group. It was the litigation of the "wrongful death". The family appeared at each court date throughout their inexplicable grief. After a period of four months, the jury, by unanimous decision, found the accused guilty of all the charges and ordered them to pay an astronomical sum to the complainant's family, as well as to fully pay the charges. legal fees of the case. When the lawyer kissed the widow, her daughter and son, he said, "This case may have set a record in Mesothelioma litigation payments, but it will never fill the canyon with the loss you feel in your hearts. I just hope that the river that flows to the bottom will be a state of mind that you will reach, once your pain will be dispelled!
The widow looks up slightly at him and answers "Pain? The real judgment had already passed when my baby died. "
As she grabs her purse and moves in front of her children, she continues – we have already been sentenced to pain, we just have to become the guardian … because the # "Money never removes the pain of losing a loved one, but it can lessen it." While she slowly walks out of the court corridor, her daughter, now the tallest of the family, surrounds his mother and his little brother.
Outside the courthouse, a small group of local reporters amassed the family at first sight.A barrage of questions is asked simultaneously while the lights from the camera are flashing and that an electronics store touting microphones, phones and audio recorders are being pushed into the faces of the family, which visibly annoys the girl while she tries to keep her cool. A security guard from the courthouse rushes to their aid s and supports the reporters.A question that a reporter screams, behind the rugged 6 "6-foot security officer's frame, rings," Do you feel that you've been done justice? "At that moment, the girl, who can no longer control herself, from the gross insensitivity of the press to their situation, stops, turns to the journalists and shouts" Justice ", what do You'll have your story anyway! And the crimes will continue to be committed by other organizations that will make ten times the turnover of what is paid in our "record pay". is infected and the cycle continues.She is bursting into tears now and screaming angrily, "WHAT YOU EXPECT OF MY DAD, IT IS ANOTHER STATISTICAL OF ASBESTOS AND MESOTHELIOMA!"
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