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Healing the Heroes of 9-11, Part 3

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Message Vin LoPresti
Intently gazing into a pitch-black starless sky backdropping the blazing ten-thousand-watt arc-lighted surroundings, Jonette Kraft’s eyes tracked the scintillating glitter . . . sparkling, spinning, zigzagging in the cool, breezy night air. September 16, 2001, and those same glittering particles were already coursing into this National Guardswoman’s body, invading her airways, her skin, dissolving in the cleansing fluids of her eyes. It was epic, quintessential deceit—that pretty potpourri of flecks and sparkles would later morph into a neurological demon that would threaten to abolish Jonette’s memories, disable her legs, destroy her very identity. Were it not for the great-hearted folks at the New York Rescue Workers Detoxification Project — — this mother, landscape architect, jet-engine mechanic, and patriot might never have fully existed past her birthday of June 22, 2005, the day her healing began.

Depressed, confused, her left leg dragging—unable to recall where she had been an hour before—Jonette remarkably suffered nearly three years of gradually intensifying symptoms before one of her already-healed coworkers in the Jersey Guard, Tom McGhee, lead her to NY Detox. Like Tom, Jonette had been exposed at the Fresh Kills landfill in Staten Island, beginning a few days after 9-11, as military and civilian workers carted the rubble of the World Trade Center to its temporary grave.

“Thank you for giving me my life back, for the caring you gave, and for doing what you do,” Jonette exudes gratitude to Jim Wordworth and his selfless crew at this charitable organization originally funded by Tom Cruise but—with so many still needing its help—now dependent on charitable dollars to continue functioning. What does it take to tailspin a mother, former Air National Guard jet-engine mechanic, 19-year veteran—and a woman who toughed-out seven colleges to persist and obtain her degree in landscape design at the University of New Mexico? How does someone with that kind of stick-to-it-tiveness get plunged “into a depression because I kept thinking ‘what’s wrong with me’”?

Her story helps us understand just how toxic was the residue of ground zero . . . and conversely, just how effective has been the L. Ron Hubbard–conceived detoxification strategy of the New York Rescue Workers Detoxification Project. The procedure is based on sauna, exercise, and vitamin, mineral, and oil supplements, on gradually cleansing the body of the heavy-metal (lead, mercury) and toxic-organic (PCBs, PBBs and others) residue of burning buildings built before the EPA and OSHA excluded these toxins. Substances that stun-gun key enzymes in all cells and which can deregulate (“confuse,” disrupt) the sophisticated internal regulation of the immune system can clearly, in these cases, provoke pathology in individuals with both acute, high-level and chronic, lower-level, exposure. Yet the federal government and the City of New York have not stepped-up to the plate—with the exception of a Sanitation Department contract due largely to the courageous support of City Councilwoman Margariat Lopez. And those governments, plus the sorely underfunded US military and Veterans Administration medical establishments have continued to largely slough-off these men and women, leaving the healing to the altruism of the New York Rescue Workers Detoxification Project.

In Part 2 of this series, Major Sean Donahue,
worked in the still burning rubble of the WTC for 36 hours on 9-11 and 9-12-01, his exposure direct, acute and almost immediately disabling. By contrast, Jonette Kraft spent 7 weeks at Fresh Kills landfill, never directly digging into the debris, but working nearby, exposed chronically and diffusely through the particulates and vapors thrown up into the surrounding air—those sparkles and glitters that so fascinated her. Yet, like the poor suffering workers and residents of lower Manhattan (many of whom require this detoxification), her command structure told her, “oh the air’s fine, don’t worry about it.” After a few days of the 7-week tour, to which she gladly responded to serve her country in its time of need, she and her coworkers were told that protective clothing and breathing masks were no longer necessary.

Yet Jonette’s diffuse exposure led to a lesion on her spinal cord—perhaps Multiple Sclerosis, perhaps an abnormal benign or incipient malignant growth. It’s impossible to know, since the only sophisticated diagnostics performed in three years were two MRIs. Regardless of the pathology, of which a variant of MS is certainly possible, the two MRIs spanned the period before and after a portion of her detox therapy. The result: THE SECOND MRI CLEARLY SHOWED THE LESION (whatever its cause) SHRINKING. And while we could speculate/hypothesize for pages upon pages regarding why and how this therapy works, the point is THAT IT DOES . . . and that there are still so many more sick people who need it.

Both Sean Donahue (Part 2) and Jonette showed G-I disorders, continual indigestion and chronic diarrhea. Sean also exhibited an asthmatic condition that Jonette may not have, while over three years (beginning in August 2002, a year after, Jonette said, “I will serve,”) her nervous system progressively deteriorated. It would be reasonable to speculate that autoimmune-like disorders were operant in both soldiers—where the body’s own deregulated immune system turns on its own tissues and organs, attacking and destroying them with a potency normally reserved for bacteria and viruses. In Sean’s case, the major targets were his airways and lungs, the small breathing tubes so constricted with inflammation that he nearly died of asphyxiation. In Jonette’s case, an MS-like pathology would have caused her immune system’s (white blood) cells to attack the myelin sheaths of nerve fibers in her brain and spinal cord, robbing her of her ability to feel and control her left leg and diminishing her cognition and memory to such an extent that “my husband was thinking he’d have to take care of an invalid” for the rest of her life. Yet in both cases—Sean Donahue’s and Jonette Kraft’s—traditional medicine did little but throw wave after wave of anti-inflammatory drugs at both, culminating, of course, in steroid “therapy,” the “regent” of anti-inflammatories with often disastrous side-effects.

Imagine your own white blood cells—T Cells and others—invading the barrier that separates them from the brain, then sending out destructive (cytotoxic) micro-corrosives to eat away the beautiful white, shiny insulation covering of your nerve fibers, leaving ugly pock-marked holes. Like a satellite-imaged field hit by successive bombing runs, with time, more and more destruction would create a pathological area large enough for an MRI to see. Such was possibly the situation in Jonette’s spinal cord.

And why would this improve? Because given the chance, the human body’s self-healing capabilities will manifest—if the body can be freed of its toxic burden. And traditional-medical mechanism notwithstanding, that is clearly, and exactly, what the L.Ron Hubbard detoxification protocol accomplishes. The “miracle” of Sean Donahue’s current life as computer-network specialist and officer in the Guard and of Jonette Kraft’s fulfilling life as landscape architect, wife, and mother bear full testimony to that reality. Both lives saved by Jim Woodworth and his charitable New York Rescue Workers Detoxification Project — : So many more are yet at risk. IF YOU’RE SICK, CONTACT THEM. And if you’re well, PLEASE DONATE.
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Vin has a PhD in molecular biology, taught college science in Boston, and currently writes about science for various venues. His passion is the evolution of the US healthcare system far beyond its current oversimplistic (more...)
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