Harlan County man gives a face to black lung disease

By: Morgan Lentes Email
By: Morgan Lentes Email

CAWOOD, Ky (WYMT) - Changes to federal black lung laws should make it easier for miners to get benefits in the future.

Don King spent years underground as a coal miner and now questions that decision.

He worked as a miner for 32 years and as a result, contracted black lung.

"I liked to work the mines after I got used to it. I started when I was 18 years old," said King.

He said it has been a struggle since day one to get the benefits he needs.

"Well I know one thing, I could sure use it," said King.

King's wife Barbra has watched his health fade.

"I do not know how he is going this far. He breaths at night and you can hear him breathing," said King.

King said there is no arguing over why he deserves help paying his medical bills.

"I earned it because I got black lung working in the mines," said King.

He said he lives with regret wishing he had followed a different career path.

King said he and his wife live on social security.

King's wife said if something happened to him, she does not know how she would afford her living expenses.

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