Navy sailor suing over Fukushima exposure dies from rare cancer near heart — TV: Navy lieutenant retires, says he’s unable to use leg muscles due to Fukushima radiation and confined to wheelchair — Both in mid-30s (VIDEOS)

Published: June 16th, 2014 at 5:51 pm ET
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Tweets from Dr. Yuri Hiranuma, June 11, 2014: First death of a USS Ronald Reagan sailor hit by radiation from Fukushima Daiichi while on Operation Tomodachi. Theodore Holcomb, a former USS Ronald Reagan aviation mechanic during Operation Tomodachi, died of synovial sarcoma on April 26, 2014. Holcomb was a plaintiff in the lawsuit against TEPCO. He began experiencing “breathing difficulty, pain in right shoulder, and excessive heart rate while still in service. He was diagnosed with synovial sarcoma next to his heart, causing lung and heart issues, in late 2011. Holcomb was 38 years old and a father of a five-year-old girl.

Nuclear Hotseat, June 11, 2014 (at 1:30 in): First death of a USS Ronald Reagan sailor hit by radiation from Fukushima Daiichi while on the humanitarian aid Operation Tomodachi. Information just released today by the legal team representing the USS Reagan sailors in their billion dollar lawsuit against TEPCO. >> Listen to the full Nuclear Hotseat program here

WUSA, June 9, 2014: [Navy Lt. Steve] Simmons served on the USS Ronald Reagan during the March 2011 meltdown [...] eight months later, he started feeling sick. Now, Simmons is confined to a wheelchair, with no use of his leg muscles. The 36-year-old blames radiation, but says no one will agree. Today marked his bittersweet retirement from the Navy. [...] months after he returned from the humanitarian effort at Fukushima, he blacked out one day while driving. Then, he started experiencing high fevers. His health deteriorated to the point that he his now confined to a wheelchair. He blames radiation exposure at Fukushima. [...] The Department of Defense says radiation levels were safe, and were the equivalent to less than a month’s exposure to the same natural radiation you pick up from being near rocks, soil and the sun. Steve does not buy that, “How do you take a ship and place it into a nuclear plume for five plus hours, how do you suck up nuclear contaminated waste into the water filtration system and think for one minute that there’s no health risk to anybody on board.” [...] more than 70 sailors from the Reagan [...] are now experiencing medical issues >> Watch the WUSA broadcast here

Watch the Military Honors portion of Holcomb’s funeral here

Published: June 16th, 2014 at 5:51 pm ET
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