Nick's Story - Silica Case Study
You know… 33 and I'm feeling like a 70 year old man.
Yeah, spent my younger days, just, you know doing what young people do I guess.
And then eventually, I, one of my mates went out on site with him
And he needed a help – bit of help and he was a stonemason
and I went with him, loved the job… like I said 'you know, this is great, I'd really, you know if you can get me a job.'
'You know, speak to your employer or what not.'
And eventually I got into it.
Was given a grinder, paper mask and, you know, start cutting and what not.
However, you know talking about the um… the ventilation side of things when, you know, 2006,
there wasn't much going on, as in, you know, like filtration, air you know clean air and what not.
So, you know, you'd be set up on a trek on a stool, put your pieces down, mark out cut outs,
polished openings, what not
and um, just, you know, start cutting I guess.
And you get out of there looking like Casper the ghost.
And I woke up one morning, had my eyes open, I was lying in bed – I couldn't move.
It was like, you know, waking up from having a operation in the hospitals.
You know when you wake up from the anaesthetics.
Yeah, you just – your eyes are open but you can't move.
So, I was like that and um, I eventually said to my wife:
'You know, can you sort of just like kick me over, push me over the side of the bed, 'cause I can't move.'
And then, after 10 or 15 minutes, I got to the side of the bed.
Went to put my socks on and I couldn't move my hands,
yeah, couldn't put my socks on, couldn't put shoes on, I couldn't turn taps… um – I was a mess.
Couldn't do anything.
You know, I was in tears, I was in so much pain
and then eventually I got admitted to hospital.
I went to hospital; they weren't sure what was going on.
They could see that my inflammation markers were all over the shop and this and that
and… you know, my wife's also a nurse, so.
You know, you're still young, I was 33 at the time,
didn't think much of it, but I knew I was in a lot of pain.
Just in the CT scans, you could see, you know, scarring, little bit of it and nodules and what not
so, yeah, he sent that off to another specialist.
He said: 'Look, I believe that its silicosis and you should stop work and not expose yourself to anymore dust and what not.'
And that's been the process.
So not only do I got silicosis, which is the lung disease, which is terminal.
I've got an autoimmune disease that possibly could be terminal, you know, could turn that way.
And I'm having those symptoms, so it's very…
You know, I don't try to think about it too much and what not. I just take day by day as it is and um…
You know just, I really hope for the best
'Cause I, you know, I wanna see my kids grow up and you know, see all those milestones, I guess.