Local Man Suffering With Parkinson's Makes National Headlines

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He's fighting to be heard and now a Central Kentucky man is getting some national attention.

Ed Abney of Berea is suffering from Parkinson's disease and he says it's all because of an unsafe work environment.

The Berea man worked at the former Dresser Industries plant there for over twenty-years. Working elbow deep in an industrial solvent called trichloroethylene.

He claims the exposure to the chemical used to clean parts is the cause of his disease. A recent UK study reported the solvent might increase the risk for Parkinson's disease.

"They tested the chemical on rats, and all of them got Parkinson's," said Susan Abney, Ed's wife.

Ed, now 53, was diagnosed with the disease in 2001, but says he began feeling the symptoms back in the summer of 1996.

He says his disease has progressively gotten worse. "Life has been rough, I can't do hardly anything I used to, some nights I can't even sleep," Ed Abney said.

The study also found that 27 other workers also showed symptoms associated with Parkinson's. The Abney's thought the study, which seem to overwhelming prove what they have been saying for years would be the scientific evidence they had been praying for to claim workers' compensation benefits.

But the medical researchers would not sign the paperwork confirming that Abney's disease was linked to his job.

"This doesn't mean we are going to stop fighting," said Susan. "This isn't about money, it's about holding someone responsible for something that should have never happened in the first place."

The Abney's attorney says the family doesn't have much of a case in a court of law without the researchers signatures, attesting there is a connection.

"Maybe someday, there will be enough evidence to prove why I'm sick and why so many of my other former co-workers are dealing with similar problems," Ed went on to say.

Recently, Abney's former supervisor at the plant lost his fight to the disease.

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