Michael Wray, The Courier-Mail:
EVERY night, even in the middle of summer, Sue Byron prepares two spare doonas and two hot water bottles in her Mackay home. Then she boils a jug of water and gets in bed.
If she’s lucky, the water will go cold before she wakes up, meaning that her husband, Chris Byron, 69, a former coal miner who was diagnosed with black lung disease late last year, has slept through the night without contracting another bout of pneumonia…
In the past decade, Chris, who spent nearly 45 years of his life digging coal out of the ground in NSW and Queensland, has suffered pneumonia more than 50 times.
It’s just one of myriad health issues, including chronic bronchitis and coughing blood and coal dust, that have steadily sapped strength from his body as black lung, which is also called Coal Workers’ Pneumoconiosis (CWP), has taken hold.