Bazzil Goodman of Logan, WV spent 42 years in the mines.
"I was underground the entire time," said Goodman. "I went in when I was 17 years old."
Today, at age 66, Goodman is on oxygen 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. He was diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which is a chronic inflammatory lung disease that causes obstructed airflow from the lungs. Symptoms include breathing difficulty, cough, mucus (sputum) production and wheezing.
"It's tough living with oxygen and COPD. Everything is harder. There are times I get so dizzy I pass out without much warning and I get congested a lot. But sometimes I have great days. Unfortunately the bad outweigh the good."
Goodman tried to obtain his black lung benefits two times at another location before coming to The Black Lung Center at Boone Memorial Hospital in Madison, WV.
"I figured I would die before I actually got anything," said Goodman. "But I decided I would give it another try and came to Boone Memorial this time around."
The hospital helped Mr. Goodman complete his federal black lung paperwork and then proceeded to the physical exam and black lung testing, which consisted of a B-Read Chest X-Ray (specific to black lung), Spirometry to test breathing capacity, EKG, Exercise Stress Test and complete physical by physician. One of the centers four Pulmonologists, Dr. Dominic Gaziano administered the testing.
"He's a smart man," said Goodman. "He's very thorough and top of the line, and most importantly, he's honest. I'm so glad I came here. It's a fine hospital and
Dr. Gaziano helped a lot. I've never been treated so good."
Goodman came to The Black Lung Center at Boone Memorial in August 2018 and in just two months received the call from the Department of Labor that he had been awarded his black lung benefits.
"I was so excited that I called the director of The Black Lung Center, Willie Carte. He was so happy for us. These benefits will change my life. My wife had a stroke and can't drive anymore and I'm not sure how much longer I'll be able to continue driving. I even have to wear a mask when I go a lot of places. I have to be really careful. These benefits will relieve some of our stress," said Goodman.
When asked what Goodman would tell a former miner about applying he said;
"Don't give up; keep trying. I almost gave up myself and I'm so thankful I didn't. The way I see it is, as long as there's life, there is hope."
To contact The Black Lung Center at Boone Memorial Hospital call 304-369-8825 or visit: