HARLAN COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) – Tony Saylor and his brother Brandon are both Blackjewel coal miners.
“We’re coal miners. That’s what we do for a living. That’s about all there are to do around here,” said Brandon.
Tony said throughout the day he just did not feel like himself and at night he had trouble sleeping.
“I was working in the mines, I was feeling dizzy all the time,” said Tony.
Tony said he finally went to see a doctor June 27th, and doctors found a 7.7-millimeter mass on his brain.
Though doctors wanted him to have surgery immediately, he wanted time with friends and family first.
“I come home, went up to the mines to see the guys at the mines and they all prayed for me,” says Saylor.
The following Monday, the miners got word that Blackjewel was stopping production.
On June 3rd, Tony went back to Lexington for a head scan.
Saylor says while he was there, he learned that his paycheck from June 28th was taken out of his bank account.
On the 11th, he had surgery and doctors removed what they could of the tumor.
Now, Tony has some vision and hearing trouble but is doing far better than what doctors expected.
He said his focus is not on his health, but on hoping that his friends will get back on their feet and back to work.
“Right now, I hope they all get jobs first. I’m hoping to recover and everything goes good for me. But I wish they all had jobs, they all worked. They all need it,” said Saylor.
Tony will go back to the doctor on July 24th, where he will find out if the tumor was malignant.
He says he does not know yet if the insurance from Blackjewel will pay his medical bills, but he does have secondary insurance.