Tom Waring, the Wire
U.S. Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick released the following statement regarding the passage of legislation reauthorizing the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act:
“While it may have waited until the 11th hour, I am pleased that Congress heeded the calls of first responders around our nation – including in Bucks and Montgomery counties – to reauthorize the vital benefits for 9/11 responders provided by the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act. This government – and those in it – must stand with first responders in both words and actions. The long-term extension of this critical program is the least a grateful nation can do for those who risked health and safety to assist others in our time of greatest need.”
Former New York fireman Brian McGuire, who now lives in Upper Southampton, made the following statement regarding the vote:
“One thing I learned at the fire academy is that we were serving to save lives. Whether it was dozens of people at a big fire somewhere in the city or a single person, it was understood: Failure was not an option. Today’s vote to reauthorize the benefits for 9/11 first responders was about saving over 72,000 lives who rely on this program. Thankfully, leaders like Congressman Fitzpatrick understood that failure is not an option and have worked tirelessly to make this possible.”
Meanwhile, Fitzpatrick continued his Faces of E-Free series by highlighting the personal stories of Lisa Conti, of Ringtown, Schuylkill County; Kathryn Fredrickson, of Maryland; and Amanda Dykeman, of Illinois.
Conti, Fredrickson and Dykeman are three of more than 25,000 women negatively impacted by the medical device Essure. Fitzpatrick is the author of the E-Free Act, which would require the Food and Drug Administration to remove the permanent sterilization device produced by Bayer from the market.
Conti lives with chronic pain and depression, has had multiple surgeries and has lost jobs.
Fredrickson has experienced severe pain, extreme bleeding, vomiting and rashes.
Dykeman’s hair has fallen out, she’s felt great fatigue, has suffered severe abdominal and joint pain and has fought urinary tract and kidney infections.
“My bill, the E-Free Act, can halt this tragedy by removing this dangerous device from the market. Too many women have been harmed,” Fitzpatrick said on the House floor.
Since it was approved by the FDA in 2002, the agency has received over 5,000 formal complaints related to the device. Tens of thousands of women have reported symptoms including extreme pelvic and abdominal pain, migraines, autoimmune reactions, loss of teeth and hair, the metal coil breaking and migrating throughout the body, and the coil cutting into the uterus and other organs in the abdominal cavity. The deaths of four women and five unborn children have been attributed to the use of Essure.
After receiving a letter from Fitzpatrick, the Government Accountability Office is in the process of investigating the device and its approval process.